Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Capital Punishment

I have generally found myself on the other side of the majority opinion of the net-enabled people regarding Capital Punishment, POTA, "Moral Policing" and related issues.

This news item about the latest Capital Punishment provided by the Delhi Court on the Red fort attack is something which is worth reading.

The judge has said "this is a case where life imprisonment would be inadequate and ends of justice would be served only by awarding the death sentence". And I believe there are a lot of similar cases. Law is not only to regulate people, but to act as an effective deterent as well. Given that, in India, a 'life imprisonment', is not for 'life' [as in John Grisham's 'The Last Juror'].

In this context, President Dr.Kalam's stance on Capital Punishment has been disclosed recently in news articles like this. But once a capital pushiment is reduced to life, it is 14 years, and in 7 yrs, and the prisoner is released on 'good conduct' for a national leader's birthday.

Effectively a court has granted Capital punishment to a person, and he comes back into the society within 7 years, which for me personally is unacceptable.

Interestingly, also, after abt 2 days after the verdict, still i have not found the 'human rights' activists to flood the media with cribs against the indian judicial system. Ok, since it is diwali, the MSM is on vacation?? Mebbe tomorrow they would be back??


At Tue Nov 01, 10:11:00 PM CST, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

happy diwali tj,
here life imprisionment is better than (not the 14 yrs but i mean life) capital punishment. in capital punishment its usual 40 minutes if hanged and no pain if its lethal injection.
but in its place i wouldnt mind the andaman kinda prisions where the persons spends their life in jain, really hard labout and solitary confinment, their crimes deserve a more severe punishment. if this was handed down for even 14 years, then that wud be enough. imagine spending 14 yrs in solitary confinment and working from dawn to dusk in isolation. it wud kill the person. such crimes deserve such harsh sentences

At Tue Nov 01, 10:14:00 PM CST, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

and the human rights activists will scream foul if my idea is implemented. but i wonder what human rights whud be granted to someone who attacks the parl. or rapes a 14 yr old?

At Wed Nov 02, 03:40:00 AM CST, Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

Without getting emotional about the issue, i feel that we need to strike a fine balance here.

While on one hand I support Capital Punishment as that would be an effective deterrent, on the other hand i feel that human rights activists are not to be brushed aside. Would you be able to convince yourself that the Indian Judicial System is effective and more importantly fair? They are fair to some extent, but not 100% I believe. If that be the case, what wyoud you do with punishments like these - which are irreversible? Capital punishments are not just for Terrorists.. it applies for everyone and it must be viewed in that context.

At Wed Nov 02, 05:02:00 AM CST, Blogger sai thilak said...

I would n't be supporting Capital Punishment, though their actions demand it. In my point CP is inhuman. Who are we to kill a person ? Rather the punishments could be harsh enough to instill a kind of fear to restrian themselves doing it.

What we acheive by killing a person who did heinous crime ? jus one life lost on this earth. What assures that the same crime wont be repeated ? Isn't punishment given for the person to help himself to rectify and lead a life with more humaness?

Its better to make policy sans CP for the heinous crimes. Thats my point. Put your thoughts to have healthy discussion on this issue.

At Wed Nov 02, 06:54:00 AM CST, Blogger ~/rajesh/~ said...

I thought of blogging that. I favour CP and its definitely not inhuman considering the crimes for which CP is awarded. The criminal is is aware that it would lead to CP. Still he/she still commits the crime? There can be two arguments from this.
1) Since there is a chance that the punishment could get diluted, the criminal gets a false security in his mind to do such crimes.
2) If a person knows that he/she would get electrocuted touching a live wire and still does it, the electricity board cannot be blamed as inhuman. It is only as per law.

At Wed Nov 02, 08:48:00 AM CST, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

TJ - Very good post :P

At Wed Nov 02, 08:51:00 AM CST, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Ok - I support capital punishment - enna porutha varai "Mannipu thamila pudikatha orai varthai - ahhhhhhhnnnnnn ;)"

Ennaku therinchathu ellam adiku adi - uthaiku uthai

coffee comment is NOT anon!

Sorry boss - still in the hangover!

At Wed Nov 02, 04:06:00 PM CST, Anonymous Dubukku said...

Happy Diwali Tj - how was diwali there? any osi saapadu?

Capital punishment should defntly be there atleast to erase some beasts from the society. I dont regard that as a punishment to the individual but its a relief to the rest of the society.

At Wed Nov 02, 04:18:00 PM CST, Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Good post TJ. I too think capital punishment is okay. In the present scenario any kind of law that takes some action is really a boon.

At Wed Nov 02, 09:28:00 PM CST, Blogger sai thilak said...

lot of supportes to CP ... :)

To put thoughts on Rajesh's comment.. I would like the punishments for heinous crime to be more punishing in nature not as killing nature. Afterall justice system should give chance to him/her to rectify his/her faults. Give the unescapable punishments (in non-dilutable form) to those ppl.

I am jus saying that punishments can be anything that have profound imapact or in other words harsher than death rather than death itself.

Imagine a person with trademark of his/her heinous action with undergone punishment could not live a life in dignity in our society. This itself a big punisment,a punishment larger than death.

At Thu Nov 03, 06:40:00 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear TJ,
sensitve topic here,
however doing away with capital punishment will definitely embolden those who commit serious crimes.
Hmm..let us not become total pacifists like Gandhiji who advised Europe to adopt non-violence towards Hitler


At Thu Nov 03, 07:25:00 AM CST, Anonymous Sundaresan said...

Good post, TJ! IMO, death sentence is something which can’t be acceptable.
None of us have a right to take another’s life.

At Thu Nov 03, 09:31:00 AM CST, Blogger Ganesh said...

TJ very sensitive topic.
While innocent people should not die for the want of justice how do deal with these horrendous people who commit murder and other things.
To even think what would have happened if the terrorist gained entry into the parliment,gives me shudders.
So should they just let go ?
How to deal with someone who clearly knows he is going to kill many people to justify his ends ?

At Thu Nov 03, 10:04:00 AM CST, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Thu Nov 03, 10:05:00 AM CST, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Nathanji - trying to comment again ji :)..I reiterate that all thaapu pannuna guys must be punished!

Mathavan luv pannura ponna innoruthan luv pannunalum vetanum! ;)

Ok'ji' - now tell ur ji not to come and bash me in my blogji!


Sorry ji - Anandji has given me this ji syndrome!

At Thu Nov 03, 07:29:00 PM CST, Blogger TJ said...

I agree to your point. But fear of death is the atmost fear in humans, and that is enough punishment. Also, it would make him think of his familes and everything else, if he dies immediately. Thus CP is a much better detterent than LI. True abt Human rights activists. Only in india we have this nasty synonym of HumanRights are antiEstablishment. Mebbe, it is the legacy from the pre independence Non-Cooperation movements??

The fundamental of indian law is, let 1000s of criminals escape, but not one innocent shud be punished. In that context, a CP will be given only to the undoubtedly deserving case as it has been proved in the latest verdict. So, all the inconsistencies in the law, which you are talking abt will only aid in escaping CP and not sentencing for it.

Well said, regarging the live wire analogy!

Namba They.Mu.Thee.Kaa, aatchikku vandha udanay, mannippungara vaaarthaya usage lerundhu ban pannidalam :D

Very true, Nanda padathla Rajkiran solra maadhiri 'Bhoomikku baarama avanunga edhukku, pottu thallu pottu thallu' :)

At Thu Nov 03, 08:09:00 PM CST, Blogger TJ said...

Yes Kasthuri,
Laws and importantly enforcement of them, is the need for the hour.

Sai Thilak,
Thanks for your inputs. Very thoughtful indeed.
First of all the justice system, should look more from the society's perspective rather than at the individual perspective.

Assume, a convicted criminal is let out in the society, after being provided with the punishment as us said [living a live without dignity]. What if the lack of diginity drives him to repeat the crime. Then the whole justice system is reponsible for letting down the society.

I would like to reiterate what Rajesh has said. It is cleared said in the law of the land that 'if you do this, you will end up with a CP', and if the act is committed still, then what will happen if the CP is not there. Definitely the audacity to do the crime will increase manifolds.

In this context i would like to tell, that by asking for CP to be in the justice system, i am not asking to put all criminals to death, or not asing a barbaric eye for an eye law. It is just that, in the event of a huge crime, as in the RedFort assault case, where Justice is done, only when CP is given, the Justice system be equipped with that.

Exaclty Anand,
The debate on CP itself strengthens ourselves as a weak state. We must have it to make it as a detterent at least.

If none of us have the right to take a life of another, on the same grounds, do we have the right to confine and free born individual into a prison???

If we keep asking such questions, the general rule of society is not upheld.

As per what chanakya said, for the want of a house, a member can be sacrificed. For want of a street, a house can be sacrificed. For want of a village a street can be sacrificed, for want of a kingdom, a village can be sacrificed.

Jus similar to amputating an infected limb.

There is no second opinion of innocent people should not be punished. But that is already the basis of the whole judicial system. The point of contention in this public debate, is that, once a person has been founded, undoubtedly to have commited a very serious crime, that deserves more than an imprisonmnent, CP should be made available to the judicial system.

'Mathavan love pannra ponna madakka try panravana vettanum' :P

Enna Ji idhu???
Fedex la aruval anuppi vekkarein Preston roadkku :P

At Fri Nov 04, 02:46:00 AM CST, Blogger Udhayakumar said...

enakku ithula ellam nambikkai illa. My Data warehousing tutor Hanumesh quoated this: "Indian legal system is useless. If you try to make it correct the whole system will go for a toss. Better we keep that as it is to avoid chaos"

At Fri Nov 04, 12:21:00 PM CST, Blogger Ramana Siddharth said...

hope u had a nice deepavali tj.would like 2 meet u if ur still in madras.

IMHO capital punishment quoting from virumandi is "judicially sanctioned murder"...i think the mahatma said that originally.criminals must be made 2 repent and they must be rehabilitated.maybe the real bad guys must be imprisoned for life literally and they 2 must have access 2 facilities like a library,etc within the jail .the death sentence is evil and barbarian.may it be abolished.

jai hind!

At Sat Nov 05, 11:55:00 AM CST, Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Very sensitive topic and you have done a beautiful post. In my opinion people should be given an opportunity to reform themselves.

At Sat Nov 05, 05:57:00 PM CST, Blogger thennavan said...

Capital letters la poda vendiya karuththu idhu :-)

Jokes apart, capital punishment should exist in the books (mainly as a deterrant) but should be handed out only if after a complete psychographic profile is made of the criminal and it is seen that he/she neither felt remorseful about the act nor can they truly integrate back into society in any way (I think for such people incarceration for long periods itself is a burden on the taxpayer since most prison-related expenses are still people's money). But it is a touchy (and squeamish) topic for most people :-)

At Sun Nov 06, 12:08:00 AM CST, Blogger TJ said...

You tutor, would have talked abt, how to maintain the existing system, and generate revenue in maintaing it :P

Hope u had a nice diwali as! I dint visit chennai, and i am out of india again. would have definitely wanted to meet u and other bloggers in chennai.
Before making the criminals repent or rediscover, the system has the responsibility to prtect the society from them. The CP is for that purpose. It doesnt mean that, all criminals are to be put to CP.

Yes, i agree with you in giving people enough opportunities to reform themselves. But does abolishing CP has anything to do abt it?

I cant agree more with what you said :)

At Sun Nov 06, 08:16:00 PM CST, Blogger Ram.C said...

Capital punishment has its own meaning in different countries.. in singapore, it is normally discussed seriously... considering the country, being a small & strict one.

Personally, I feel that a long term punishment (life term) may be good, except if the offender repeats his crimes...

At Mon Nov 07, 08:50:00 AM CST, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

TJ - Happy Kandhar Shashti - Me wondering whether to go to our eastham temple or not! Ok - me decided to go now :)

At Mon Nov 07, 06:35:00 PM CST, Anonymous Vinayak said...

Good one mate!

Out of the topic:
The highlight of the blog is the tamil calender!
Mesha raasiku ennadhunu paakaradhukaagave..i log in daily here;)


At Tue Nov 08, 03:56:00 PM CST, Blogger TJ said...

I agree, long term punishment is good, if it is implemented as it is meant to be.
And like singapore, Caning can also be considered.

Kandarshashti vaazhthukkal, Saw ur kandarsashti post only today. East ham poittu vandheengla epdi irundhadhu?

Thanks machchi, had to brush up a bit of javascript to get that thing here. ;)


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