Friday, February 6, 2015

Death penalty is not a solution, say activists

ALOK DESHPANDE Updated: August 23, 2014 02:31 IST A year after the Shakti Mills gang rape, as the three convicts’ appeals against the death penalty are being heard in the Bombay High Court, women activists, lawyers and organisations feel capital punishment can never be the solution to stop atrocities against women. “Death penalty won’t solve the problem. Apart from being barbaric and inhuman, there is absolutely no evidence to prove that it lowers the rate of crimes against women,” said Persis Sidhwa of the Majlis, a forum for women’s rights discourse and legal initiatives. While awareness of rape cases had increased, stereotypes painting the victim in a negative light still existed. “We need to sensitise society to a great extent. It’s just the beginning,” she said. Lawyer and rights activist Manisha Tulpule too argued that rather than the gravity of the sentence, certainty of the sentence was important. “A survivor needs an assurance that the guilty will definitely be punished,” she said. Sonya Gill of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) said society believed quick and strong justice meant hanging the convict, which was of no use. On August 22, 2013, a photojournalist who had gone to the deserted Shakti Mills compound on an assignment, was gang-raped by five youths, including a minor. Source: [last accessed 06.02.2015]

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