Should Capital Punishment to Be Abolished or Not

Topics: Capital punishment, Murder, Capital punishment in the United States Pages: 8 (2971 words) Published: August 14, 2010
An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind. - Mahatma Gandhi.

This is a famous quote that many people cite when they pitch for the abolishment of capital punishment (death penalty) from the judicial process. The lengthy list of the terms which are not quite acceptable in a democracy begins with terms like capital punishment and death penalty. That, however, doesn't mean that this form of punishment is not acceptable in a democracy. In fact, two of the largest democracies in the world - India and the United States of America, both have the provision for capital punishment as a part of their legal system. "Indeed, the decision that capital punishment may be the appropriate sanction in extreme cases is an expression of the community's belief that certain crimes are themselves so grievous an affront to humanity that the only adequate response may be the penalty of death." Capital punishment is a barbarous survival from a less enlightened and refined age; it is incongruous and incompatible with our present standard of civilization and humanity. It has been abolished by many states and countries, and we must look forward to the day when the other governments will follow suit Capital punishment, also known as Death penalty, is essentially the execution of an individual as punishment for offense by a state. The crimes which can lead to capital punishment are called capital crimes or capital offenses. Earlier, the killing of criminals and political opponents was prevalent in almost every civilization. With the time, nearly all European and several Pacific Area states (counting Australia, New Zealand and Timor Leste), and Canada have abolished death penalty.  The majority of states in Latin America have absolutely abolished capital punishment, however, a few countries, like Brazil, use death penalty only in special situations, for example, treachery committed during wartime. There are still quite a few states and countries that retain the use of capital punishment, including the United States (the federal government and 36 of its states), Guatemala, majority of the Caribbean, Japan, India, and Africa (Botswana and Zambia). In almost all retentionist countries, capital punishment is granted as a penalty for planned murder, espionage, treachery, or as part of military justice. Recently, the case of Mohammad Afzal, a terrorist who was found guilty of instigating the attack on the Indian Parliament House, has cropped up the controversy regarding the Indian law of capital punishment.  Right to Life & Capital Punishment in India

In India, capital punishment is granted for different crimes, counting murder, initiating a child’s suicide, instigating war against the government, acts of terrorism, or a second evidence for drug trafficking. Death penalty is officially permitted though it is to be used in the ‘rarest of rare’ cases as per the judgement of Supreme Court of India. Amongst the retentionist countries around the world, India has the lowest execution rate with just 55 people executed since independence in 1947.  

Since the condition of the ‘rarest of rare’ is not exactly defined, sometimes even less horrific murders have been awarded capital punishment owing to poor justification by lawyers. Since 1992, there are about 40 mercy petitions pending before the president. The proposals for abolition of death sentence for petty offences was brought about but there was a lot of hue and cry from lawyers , judges and parliamentarians and the so called protectors of social order. Six times the House of Commons passed the bill and six times the House of Lords rejected the same. With the passage of time, the voice for abolition of death penalty grew stronger over the world especially in Britain. However, in spite of opposition, the bill was passed and the number of cases in which capital punishment was awarded was reduced year after year and death penalty was reserved for offences like murder and treason. Currently, in the world 133...
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