I am an Indian Citizen living in America. In India the supreme court just upheld the execution of the 4 people who committed the gruesome Nirbhaya Case. In America in Arkansas Eight executions were scheduled in Arkansas from April 17-27, 2017 because the state’s deadly drugs are about to expire. 4 have been executed.
The case against Capital Punishment is not in any way trivializing the crime the convicts are charged for. But I find it hard to digest when people rejoice on a Capital Punishment sentence like the one happening in India. These people in my personal opinion do not think through the issue deep enough.
Here is a primer for them with some numbers. instead of reading and countering on exact numbers please take some time to read through from other sources as well. I am writing this post so people even if they do not come out and oppose, they stop rejoicing on it and use their freaking brains to some real use thinking about it. Rejoicing Death is a barbaric.
If you are an anti Abortion person understand that even Pro Abortion folks do not rejoice over an abortion, because it is one of the most painful decisions for an individual, couple or family. While I am against Capital Punishment I am Pro-Abortion and Pro-Euthanasia. I will address that another day. While I have a blanket ‘NO’ on Capital Punishment I have a ‘Yes’ to Abortion and Euthanasia but with some specific pointers. I will address that another day.
Coming back to the Capital Punishments in US and Arkansas in specific. Since 1976 31 executions have happened in Arkansas. There were no executions in the United States between 1967 and 1977. But since then, more than 7,800 defendants have been sentenced to death, over 1,400 of them have been executed and more than 2,900 were still on death row in 2016.
According to Amnesty International, 23 countries are known to have performed executions in 2016. Here are some numbers China (1,000+) , Iran (567+) , Saudi Arabia (154+) , Iraq (88+) , Pakistan (87) , Egypt (44+) and United States (20). A communist country tops the list followed by 6 Muslim countries and 7th is the land of free and the so called torch bearer of democracy. There are many more and India did not execute anyone in 2016. But 2017 could be different. But I hope this post will deter some people from rejoicing on the decision and think more.
The first hanging in Independent India was that of Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte in the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case on 15 November 1949. India has never been a place where lot of people are executed by the state but India has never supported the abolishment. In December 2007, India voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty. In November 2012, India again upheld its stance on capital punishment by voting against the UN General Assembly draft resolution seeking to end the institution of capital punishment globally. 21 people were executed since 1991. 13 were in 1995 and since 1995 there were 5 instances of execution
There were no executions when Prathibha Patil was the President. From 2007 to 2010 during her time 650 people were sentenced and 1100+ sentences were commuted to life and no one was executed.
Late Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam had supported the abolition of capital punishment saying that as President of India, he felt pain in deciding on such cases as most of them had “social and economic bias”. But he too had rejected the plea from Dhananjoy Chatterjee the security guard who was hanged in 2004 who kept saying he was innocent. You might remember the controversies surrounding the material evidence and witnesses in the case.
My post is primarily aimed at those who rejoice when they hear Capital Punishment and I had put my thoughts in two posts on Facebook. So will reuse them
People reacting (rejoicing) at the news of SC upholding the death sentence by comments such as ‘Thank God’ and ‘Now there is God’. Did they think where God was when they committed the crime? Not interested in an irrelevant God discussion here…. But….
This heinous crime is a failure of our society that is not deeply committed to equality for all. You cannot wash away that accountability by bringing God or executing capital punishment. Some say sending a message is what this does. Message to whom? Future criminals? What about the message to the system that creates unequal division that breeds criminal minds…. Capital punishment does not make women any more safer than before is what I got to say.
Unless you say NO to capital punishment you cannot address the root causes that result to it. I say that by fully acknowledging the people’s sentiment to see the death sentence as a relief. The point is the demon is still at large hiding in places we should go as a society. Places that make us very uncomfortable to go to.. be it inside us or outside us…. Capital punishment is just the easiest way for the perpetrators and others who don’t feel they are accountable bring part of the society and that includes me and you…
For those who cry out loud supporting Capital Punishment, those who post that taking out a person’s life has miraculously served justice; I would like you to do a simple exercise. Especially since you so much want a ruthless criminal dead and do not think there is an alternative to death penalty. Try these….
- If you had the choice to buy that power to execute someone (whose penalty you rejoice) how much would you be willing to pay for it?
- If you are given with the gift to take that person’s life with your own hand will you be happy or sad?
- Based on your NO answer to 1 and a sad face to 2, if it was that you will get paid to do it will you still do it? At what price?
I hope you understand what I am saying. There are many who say things but don’t mean it fully. Many times we do not think through it. It is not about punishment, it is about the need to rise above a very ineffective method of punishment where the state and the system takes the life of one of its citizens.
Many people have opinions on things as long as the action does not happen in their backyard and as long they are not asked to take active part in it. Now there are people who might kill another person if someone points a gun at them and demands to do it. Even at that moment there are some who will not. So we live in a world where we have a varied level of correctness, morality and more.
There is always a debate that can be done emotionally but it is never complete. When you say capital punishment deters crime, then you need to think more. Death in many of these crimes is not by intention, but it is the result of something horrific that happened.
Just because a victim did not die it does not make the crime any less gruesome. But will the law serve capital punishment if the victim does not die? Think before you cry out for Capital Punishment. Because we can be better than that…
In India the public sentiment might have had some bearing on the judgement looking at the rejoicing around. In Arkansas people’s life expiry seems to be tagged to the expiry date of lethal injections. It is not right either way.
Rejoicing on Capital Punishment is extremely poor taste