Our ‘Bapu’ Mahatma Gandhi rightly said “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
There has been unending debate about the whether or not death penalty should be allowed as a sentence of justice. The pros and cons of both – its allowance and abolishment – have been discussed at length but no conclusion has been reached, and the issue continues to be in air. While death penalty does see support from some quarters, there is a large section in our society which stands strongly opposing it. In layman terms, death penalty is an act against humanity. And there are several other reasons why death penalty should be removed from law books.
Awarding a death sentence could turn out to be “miscarriage of justice.” Comprehensive studies conducted in the recent past have shown that there have been a rather high number of cases worldwide wherein innocent people had been wrongfully awarded a death sentence. Re-investigation of those cases shed light on new facts and went on to prove that the court’s verdict was incorrect.
Hypocrisy of Justice
Supporters of the ‘No to Death Penalty’ motion reckon that a death sentence for a heinous crime is not going to make criminals shut shop and transform into law-abiding citizens. Killing off a criminal in the name of law is not correct deliverance of justice.
Infliction of Bias
Observers of the law and judiciary across the world have made note of the fact that there is a strong bias system which plays out when it comes to death penalty. There is more likelihood for the underprivileged to be given a death sentence than those that have a wealthy and influential upbringing.
In many parts of the world, death penalty is termed as ‘unconstitutional.’ Take the example of the United States. Its constitution clearly states that use of “cruel and unusual punishment should be prohibited.”
No Change in Crime Figures
A common misconception is that death penalty is going to have an impact on crime rates. Not true. Popular research studies on this subject indicate that most heinous crimes are passionate crimes, or committed under effects of drugs or alcohol, or the convicts are mental patients. They seem to be individuals unlikely to act according to rationale or fear of consequence.
Not a Deterrent
Contrary to popular belief, death penalty is hardly a deterrent strong enough to push away somebody from committing a crime. In fact, places where death penalty is banned has lower crime rates.
Death penalty is bad for the law’s economy. Because of the law proceedings, attorney fees, lengthy trials and other expenses involved, death penalty costs much more compared to a life sentence.
A Forgiving Chance
‘An eye for an eye’ mindset of law is not going to bring about any major change. Hurting the one who hurt you or a loved one is not a healing endeavor.
Because of capital punishment medicos also suffer. Imagine how a physician must feel having to blindside his oath of saving a human life and participate in taking one instead?
Reiteration of a previous point, death penalty also means denial of rehabilitation – a second chance – for the convict.
Life Sentence is Better
A better option against death penalty would be lawmakers should award verdicts of life sentence without parole.
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