Friday, February 6, 2015

Bring death to death penalty: Experts

Nov 25, 2014 - Shahab Ansari

Observer Research Foundation, a non-governmental organisation on Monday organised a discussion on the topic ‘Why India should end death penalty’. At the discussion, legal expert advocate Yug Mohit Choudhary and persons like professor Alberto Quattrucci from Rome, Archbishop Felix Machado and chairman of ORF Sudheendra Kulkarni spoke about their experience and why the time had come to abolish death as punishment.

All the speakers were of the view that capital punishment made no sense and should be abolished. Advocate Choudhary said that the most important purpose of giving someone a punishment was to reform him/her and when the death penalty is awarded, the person is eliminated and so are the chances of reformation. He also said that often it is argued that death penalty is awarded as a deterrent so that other like-minded people refrain from committing similar crimes. He said that mostly death is awarded in crimes of murder and data shows that the crime of killing had gone down as compared to the past when there were more people sent to the gallows.

Professor Quattrucci said that it is a stupid way to send a message to others. “You do not want others to kill and you give this message by killing somebody,” he said. He said there should be love for life and one should understand that living together is possible and necessary. According to him, 50 countries have abolished the death penalty since 1990. Archbishop Machado said Jesus said that a tooth for a tooth will make the world toothless and an eye for an eye will make the world blind and the same way life for life will finish the world. “Can taking somebody’s life, for whatever reason, teach our generations to respect life?” he asked.

Advocate Choudhary claimed that the punishment of death is not to control crimes or control law and order, but a political tool. “The question here is not that the death penalty is a deterrent, but whether it is more of a deterrent than life imprisonment?” he added. He also claimed that so far 14 judges of the Supreme Court had written to different Presidents of India to commute the death sentence of some of the convicts where they found that the death sentence erroneously awarded.

Source: [last accessed 06.02.2015]

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