Capital Punishment, The state approved act of taking a life for a crime in the recent past has been gaining widespread support in India.
One of the cornerstones of the post-industrial civilized society in which we inhabit today is the sanctity of human life. A major differentiator is the fact that unlike a lot of civilizations of the past and even societies in the recent past human life as a whole irrespective of assumed differences in race, sex, religion etc., is considered precious. It is tragically contradictory that such a society which professes utmost regard for human life deems it fit to decide certain human beings do not deserve to enjoy to gift of life.
Any civilized society should seek to mitigate crimes from happening or work at rehabilitation of the offenders and not seek erase the existence of such deviants. A civilized society rather should accept the fact that those deviants are not aliens to that society but individuals from that society who have deviated from the common, accepted norms and mores of that society – due to various factors. It is the responsibility of the society as a whole to look into those factors that led to the crime and work to ensure that other individuals are not influenced by those same factors.
There are those who claim that capital punishments are extremely effective deterrents for crime. Most nations with the lowest crime rates are those who have abolished the death penalty and another aspect to note is that a majority of countries which still continue this practice are nations that are poor and/or authoritarian with a few notable exceptions.
Further, the fact is that our judicial systems are capable of making mistakes. An individual wrongly imprisoned for a crime has the opportunity to seek restitution for the mistakes that resulted in loss of a proper life; an individual wrongly executed does not have that luxury. If that is the case, then who bears the cost of a wrong judgement?
One of the cornerstones of law is that, an innocent individual should never be punished. If that miscarriage does happen, the law provides for restitution of the accused. What can be the restitution for a dead person? If death was the penalty for death, then shouldn’t the penalty for the wrongful death of a person be something equally similar?
It may seem right emotionally to support capital punishment, but on introspection I find that capital punishment goes against the very values of the civilization we treasure.