Is life imprisonment a lesser punishment than death?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ejazr, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Is life a lesser punishment than death?

    Less than a fortnight ago, India came face to face with her stand on the death penalty. Although there was widespread disappointment that capital punishment was not announced in the heart-wrenching cases of Priyadarshini Mattoo and Pratibha Srikanthamurthy, how sure are we that the death penalty is the best punishment for the worst of our criminals?

    The death sentence of former law student Santosh Singh for the rape and murder of 23-year-old Delhi law student Priyadarshini Mattoo was commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court. In the case of the 22-year-old newly-married BPO employee from Bangalore, Pratibha Srikanthamurthy, the cab driver who raped and murdered her was sentenced to life imprisonment till death.

    The general consensus was that the two cold-blooded criminals deserved the death penalty. The courts in their wisdom, however, did not see the crimes as the “rarest of the rare” which would have invited such a punishment.

    There is a finality about the death sentence that seems to satisfy the popular perceptions of justice in matters of crime and punishment. This explains the populist stance of some political parties who demanded that the 26/11 terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab be “publicly hanged from the Gateway of India without a trial.”

    Arguments in favour of the death penalty rest on the call for permanently eliminating the worst criminals from society, not wasting public exchequer on their imprisonment and providing a strong deterrence against serious crimes.

    Coincidentally, on the day the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence in the Mattoo case, European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek spoke against death penalty stating that “Death can never ever be considered an act of justice.”

    The European Parliament has observed that barely 43 countries retain this punishment. According to it, the highest number of executions in 2009 took place in China (5000) followed by Iran (402), Iraq (77) and Saudi Arabia (69).

    India has not had a single execution in the last five years, and in that sense has been moving away from capital punishment, although more than 50 people were sentenced to death in 2009.

    Nepal and Bhutan have abolished the death penalty.

    Innumerable people have questioned this practice. In July this year, former president APJ Abdul Kalam added his voice to the call for a national debate on the need to continue with the death penalty.

    Life imprisonment till death (life without parole) is not a soft sentence as it seems but is often considered a harsher punishment than the death sentence. In 2007, 311 Italian prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment till death, petitioned the government for the right to be executed. They described life without parole a “living death”.

    It is natural for the relatives of victims to support the death sentence as part of their pursuit for justice. Not all, however, feel that imprisonment for life is a soft verdict. As a victim’s relative commented following the Pratibha verdict, the sentence will force the criminal to ponder daily “on the diabolic act he committed.”

    Crime and punishment have a deeper aspect to it. This is the redemptive power and potential of the human soul. The story of the bandit-turned-sage Valmiki, who escaped the death penalty and gave Hinduism the epic Ramayana, conveys this aptly.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    I dont think we can change kasabs of kaliyug into valmiki of satyug.In olden times even dacoits had values for themselves like not harming women and children.But todays criminals and terrorists dont have any values.you can never change a brainwashed mentally degenerated killers.did people who are against capital punishment ever thought that what priyadarshini matto ever gave thought that what she might have gone through in last few hrs of her death.

    secondly these human rights wala left liberal always start coming out of woodwork and jumping up and down for criminal's human rights did they ever care for the human right of the victim.has any one seen the shameless smiling face of the accused DGP rathode let off withh 6 months of punishment in ruchika's case.

     
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  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well I am still of the opinion that death penalty should be used in some cases like child abuse or terrorism or similar crimes.

    However, it seems that the Indian courts have basically barred the death penalty in a way. Its been five years since the last death penalty was carried out.

    What was shocking to me was that China has the highest number of judicial executions every year.....5000 executions that we know of! And the second is trailing behind at 400 in Iran. Some judicial system they must have in China.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    we 've seen many case like priyadarshini matoo where many powerful where high and mighty were involved one case comes to mind is that of Jessica lall murder case in which manu sharma got life imprisonment only after media cry for justice.rather he should have been hanged.Another case is that of paedophile Moninder Singh Pandher, the businessman accused of sexually assaulting and killing at least 17 children in Noida,where he seriously deserves firing squad.there has to be death sentence to rapists and pedophile in india.
     
  6. Agnostic_Indian

    Agnostic_Indian Regular Member

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    Life imprisonment if it is solitary is worst than death itself. But a generalisation is not possible, it depends on person to person. So capital punishment is very much needed.
     

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