24 December 2012

Saying No: To the Death Penalty

There have been many times in history where emotions have been exploited by various ideologies to carry forward their agendas/ recommendations/ thoughts.

Simple history knows that Hitler moved like a wave at a time when Germany was defeated in battle in WWI and then defeated in paper by the Versailles Treaty. The country was disillusioned and had lost its identity and it's pride in having to concede its' land (Alsace/Lorraine) along with so much more. Then came a man who promised to return pride, and promoted nationalism- not many were willing to question, at what cost. As they say a desperate man, clutches at straws.

We will not be desperate today nor will we let our emotions carry us into a tomorrow that we will not like, and sadly have no one to blame but ourselves. A crime has been committed, one that has rightfully caught the attention of all and sundry. It's rightfully angered a lot of people, and rightfully started a debate about what we can do, should do, they must do and we all have to do.
The country's face of tomorrow, it's youth, has gotten together and said that it has had ENOUGH. And as that is endearing, what is not are some of the suggestions that have been put through, on what we could do with these criminals that have been caught. Some are just plain appalling.

Stone them publicly, hang them publicly, castrate them publicly...? Weren't we the same people that looked West and condemned the Shariah Laws a few years ago, when a woman was publicly stoned for having an extra marital affair?  And who are we to decide on punishment, did we not elect into the government our choice of representative to take this case forward as they should and recommend to the magistrate, but not decide..  for that is the sole responsibility of our courts?

I read some where else that there's been an agreement by the lawyers, that no one will represent the accused in court. This is disheartening, not because I empathize with the accused, but because it sets precedence- that lawyers in this country can agree to not represent someone because of what they have done, and that the state will not have one assigned (there by declaring the party guilty before the case even reaches to court.)

As heinous as a crime is, and as much as it is in the interest of society to remove these criminals from our streets, it is just as important that we do not take a gigantic U turn and turn into something out of a Dorris Lessing novel on a dystopic society. Let's recognize that our legal system is not bullet proof, and introducing a death penalty for rape is as dangerous, as anyone can then be hung under such a law.

I heard someone else dissing Amnesty International for condemning the treatment of the accused, as being against human rights terms agreed to. The right to speak, opinionate and express are rights that we have to guard along with the right to a fair trial, and fair representation. As passionate as we are, we cannot just demand a type of punishment, but demand that the guilty be punished.

Every single person who's heard about the case has something to say about the government, I need to ask, how many of us took the time to choose the government? India this year has a voting population of 812 million people, can we say that even 50% of those votes will be cast? I know I haven't, and until I do, I don't know if I can talk about change.

This is why hanging them is not a solution. I think we need to keep them, study them, understand them, use that information to change the system that builds minds like this. What we see today, is only the tip of an iceberg, and chopping the tip off will only mean what is hidden stays hidden. We cannot destroy everything we dislike.


Like it or not, we live in a world where there's a few key systemic issues that need to be changed. One small part of that is, something as simple as, teaching children about sex & gender. There are so so many more. And it has to be you and me and then some. And we can't do that, until we change the way we think. Say No: To the Death Penalty.
 

3 comments:

KrRahul said...

Even I think death penalty is unnecessary. I would still support life-term for cruelest of the criminals both because life term is more punishing than death, and that in this world we do not have right to plan for taking someone else's life. We need appropriate punishment but life-term can be solution instead of capital punishment.

Saro said...

I agree Rahul. I think some of the uses that we can make off criminals like this, is to use them for medical testing, the way we currently use animals. Most drugs are tested on humans before they get approval to release for mass consumer base anyways, might as well make the criminals pay for their stay in jail as opposed to charging it to the exchequer. Do you think that is a viable option?

Jack said...

Saro,

I fully agree with you on two points - First being that these culprits being given a fair trial and they must have services of lawyer who should not just be a figurehead but do the job to the best of ability. Second being that we all must resolve to vote to elect right persons to be lawmakers.

Take care