The definition of the death penalty or capital punishment is an authorization to legally end the life of someone as a way of punishment for the heinous crime he/she committed.
The argument that death penalty is the only way to prevent serious crimes such as killing someone as it will induce fear in the minds of criminals does not appear to hold any strong evidence. Many countries have banned the death penalty and studies were undertaken have not indicated any increase in the crime rates. On the contrary, in some countries, the crime rates have reduced.
The law condemns brutal killings at one end, and by awarding a death penalty, the law commits the same crime legally.
It is a legitimate argument that people who have lost their breadwinning members or any other grown-ups from the family due to monstrous crimes have every right to expect a serious punishment to the culprits responsible for their loss. After all, they are forced to live the remainder of their lives with terrible memories with pain and agony. What is the best way of punishment for the killer? By awarding a death sentence, the killer gets an easy way out.
A rigorous life imprisonment will prove to be a punishment more appropriate rather than awarding a death penalty. He should live to suffer rather than die in a flash for his deadly act. Years in prison with tiresome, hard work imposed on him, together with the deprivation of all the liberties, life will become an extension of his agonies. The offender should repent his gruesome act all through his life till his last breath in this world.
It should be borne in mind that death penalty is not the way of eliminating the crimes, as the priority should lie on wiping out the crimes, not the criminals. In a modern-day civilized society, killing someone by way of punishment raises the question as to how civilized are we in opting such an action.
The major points for an abolition of death sentence:
• The killer does not learn anything if he gets killed as well for his gruesome act. He does not get a chance for rehabilitation.
• Capital punishment does not discourage criminals from committing crimes. Many studies indicate that the crime rates have not decreased owing to capital punishments.
• Capital punishment gives an easy way out for the hardcore criminals whereas life imprisonment teaches them a lesson where living becomes nothing short of hell with all his activities totally cut out and his prison inmates also look at him with hatred.
• A death penalty sentence to someone for his dreadful act is more of revenge rather than justice.
• It is a rare possibility that an innocent person can get killed by some inadvertent mistakes made in arriving at the final judgment.
Many countries have abolished death penalties and today the number of countries that have opted to abolish the same stands at approximately 140. This clearly demonstrates that the world is moving towards the eagerness to abolish the death penalty, a view shared by all cultures and religions in the world.
The Law Commission of India (Report No. 262 – The Death Penalty, August 2015), recommended that the death penalty is abolished for all crimes other than terrorism-related offenses and waging war.
Non-violence and peace were spread from India to the entire world. It is, therefore, unacceptable to opt for the existence of death penalty as a mode of punishment. Arguably, death should come in one’s life only naturally and not in any other way. The death penalty is something that is against nature, and a law should be enforced more for reformation rather than retribution of the criminal.
The father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi’s great quote says that “Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. For a criminal, following his dreadful action, living the rest of his life behind the bars with a massive lonely feeling with no one to look at him sympathetically is a punishment with greater intensity. Also, life imprisonment, instead of death penalty, gives room for the offender to repent his action sometime or the other during his lifetime.
The death penalty will not bring down the crime rates anyway, and it should be abolished totally.