THE UNFRAMED LIVES HAMMERED BY THE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
By ADITI SAMBHAR
2nd year B.A.LLB.(HONS), Jamia Millia Islamia.
Capital punishment is a subject you can always count on for a lively discussion with plenty of opinions and lots of questions ently, however, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the death penalty.Whenever the word “Capital punishment” come it is the issue which is always hot on people’s minds. When we hear word capital punishment the imagine that first strike in our mind is prisoner hanging with rope . CAPITAL PUNISHMENT is slipped under radar of lives of society. The term "capital" derives from the Latin caput, meaning "head". Thus, capital punishment is the penalty for a crime so severe that it deserves decapitation (losing one's head).
What is Capital Punishment?
Capital punishment is debatable topic which divided the society into parts one which is in favour of capital punishment and other which is against capital punishment. Capital punishment may be defined as:
“THE JUDICIAL EXECUTION OF A PRISONER AS A PUNISHMENT FOR A SEROIUS OFTEN CALLED AS CAPITAL OFFENCE OR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT OR DEATH PENALTY”.
Some jurisdictions that practice capital punishment restrict its use to a small number of criminal offences, principally treason and murder. In recent years in the United States, these have also included killings that occur during the course of some other violent felony, such as robbery or rape. Prisoners who have been sentenced to death are usually kept segregated from other prisoners in a special part of the prison pending their execution. In some places this segregated area is known as "Death Row."
Historically--and still today under certain systems of law--the death penalty was applied to a wider range of offenses, including robbery or theft. It has also been frequently used by the military for looting, insubordination, mutiny, etc
“The dilemma of kill or be killed, which confronts civilized society daily and inexorably, is bedeviled by the jumble of panic, superstition, and angry resentment we call punishment, expiation, propitiatory blood sacrifice, justice, and many other imposing names. The dilemma is a hard fact which must be faced and organized."
In today's world, terrible crimes are being committed daily. Many believe that these criminals deserve one fate: death. Capital punishment, the death penalty, is the maximum penalty used in punishing people who kill another human being - and is a very controversial method of punishment. Criminals guilty of murder receive a verdict of capital punishment. Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with an intentional or criminal intent. First-degree murder is usually premeditated or by deliberate design. In most states, a person convicted of first-degree murder can be sentenced to the death penalty. Debate over the merits of capital punishment still going on.
Capital Punishment in India
Capital punishment is legal in India although rarely used. Between 1975 and 1991, about 40 people were executed. No one else was executed until 2004.
In August 2004, a 41-year-old man, Dhananjoy Chatterjee, was executed for raping and killing a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Calcutta. This was the country's first execution in 13 years. Earlier notable executions include those of Mahatma Gandhi's and Indira Gandhi's assassins.
In 2005, there were about a dozen people on the country's Death Row. Many levels of appeals are available through different courts and India allows state governors and the president to grant clemency.
The death penalty is to be used in the "rarest of rare" cases according to the Supreme Court, although the meaning of this phrase is not clearly defined. Capital punishment can be imposed for murder, instigating a child's suicide, waging war against the government, acts of terrorism, or a second conviction for drug trafficking.
The death penalty is usually carried out by hanging. After a 1983 challenge to this method, the Supreme Court ruled that hanging did not involve torture, barbarity, humiliation or degradation.
Arguments against Capital Punishment
Some of the major arguments used by those opposed to the death penalty include:
With mandatory appeals and enhanced procedural and evidentiary requirements for capital cases in the USA, the cost of a death penalty case far exceeds (usually by a factor of ten) the cost of a trial and life imprisonment. Executed "terrorists" may become "martyrs". It denies redemption, in a non-religious sense. Some hold that a judicial system should have the role of educating those found guilty of crimes. If one is executed he will never have been educated and made a better person. Even if we have not ourselves physically committed murder, quite possibly we have fantasized about crimes of that sort: we are, ourselves, guilty of many things.
Argument in favour of Capital Punishment
Supporters of the death penalty believe that those who commit murder, because they have taken the life of another, have forfeited their own right to life.
also are disputes about whether capital punishment can be
administered in a manner consistent with justice. Those who support capital
punishment believe that it is possible to fashion laws and procedures
that ensure that only those who are really deserving of death are executed. Supporters
of CAPITAL PUNISHMENT also claim that it has a uniquely potent deterrent
effect on potentially violent offenders for whom the threat of imprisonments
“Furthermore, they believe, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT is a just form of retribution, expressing and reinforcing the moral indignation not only of the victim's relatives but of law-abiding citizens”
Defenders of capital punishment generally point to (1) and (2), since it is hard to see how (3) works when the criminal is being killed.
Currently, however, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the death penalty. Imagine a man who commits murder once, is given a fifteen-year jail sentence and is returned to the streets where he kills again. He is imprisoned again only to be released. This could happen since almost one in ten death row inmates has been convicted of murder at least once. That means that some death row inmates have been given more than one chance to rehabilitate in prison and continue to commit violent crimes. Capital punishment is one of the oldest forms of punishment in the world. Most societies have thought it to be a fair punishment for severe crimes, and it is even mentioned as an appropriate punishment in the Bible. American colonists used capital punishment before the United States was a country, and most states use it today.
Opponents of capital punishment cite its arbitrariness and finality as reasons for their opposition against the death penalty. Because capital punishment can lead to an unequal application of justice, sometimes to tey arguments for supporters of the death penalty include:
If capital punishment were used more, there would be fewer inmates on death role. Every time an inmate was executed it would show what happens to people that break the law. If capital punishment were not there in all states, criminals would run wild because they would know that they would not receive any type of capital punishment.
Should the INDIA justice system continue to let violent criminals back on the streets where they are likely to commit murder again? Should Capital Punishment stay in effect in this country? There is an ongoing debate as to whether capital punishment reduces crime rates; ideally, potential murderers (or other criminals) would be too scared of the punishment to commit crime. The counterargument is that it doesn't affect crime rate, because potential criminals think that they won't be caught, so they do not care about punishment until it's too late.There are even studies that have concluded that the death penalty appears to encourage murder. However, like many questions in the SOCIETY, actual research data on this question can be interpreted very differently by people with differing predispositions towards capital punishment. In any event, the actual effectiveness (or lack of it) is largely irrelevant to many who feel strongly about the debate, as their views are based on other factors Is it appropriate for the guilty to impose the most extreme kind of punishment?
THIS QUESTION REMAIN UNASWERED TILL NOW ALSO AS TO WHETHER SOCIETY HAS ANY RIGHT TO TAKE LIFE OR NOT . IF YES THEN CRIMINAL WILL NEVER BE GIVEN OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME BETTER PERSON & IF NO THEN WHO WILL GIVE JUSTICE TO VICTIM OR INNOCNET WHO ARE RAPED,ETC
The debate about capital punishment in India, the specifications for which are gray. System in India is in dire need of some serious lubrication in order to FIND OUT SUCH SOLUTION WHICH WILL MAKE ACCUSE BETTER PERSON & AT SAME TIME JUSTICE FAVOUR TO VICTIM ALSO UPON WHOM THE ASTROCIOUS CRIME IS DONE.