Thursday, October 3, 2013

Capital punishment

I responded to this newspaper article on Capital Punishment with a letter to the editor.

Here was the letter I wrote.
First of all, I loathe violence. I also consider vengeance a crude biological instinct people should triumph upon rather than a divine quest for justice. That said, there is still a distinction between provoked and unprovoked violence: between communal riots and what happened in the Delhi bus.
Now, it really puzzles me when people talk of death sentence as though it is the supreme form of violence. For example, the usage of "wanting blood" for wanting capital punishment. What's so "bloody" about a death sentence? I mean, we don't stone criminals to death, draw and quarter them, lock them in the brazen bull or use Scaphism as execution methods these days. Of course, there are now methods more humane than hanging which we should consider switching to.
In any case, a judicial death sentence only advances the death sentence already imposed when a person's parents decided to launch a pregnancy and carry it to term.
The government is to ensure such violence (I refer to crimes, not the sentences) doesn't recur. Given the precedent, the perpetrators need to be restrained for the rest of their lives. And longer the life, greater the expense of restraining them. So why should it be prolonged indefinitely?

This is what actually came on the paper:
I loathe violence. I consider vengeance a crude biological instinct. That said, there is a distinction between provoked and unprovoked violence — between communal riots and what happened in Delhi last year.

However, I think the following is the most crucial part.
In any case, a judicial death sentence only advances the death sentence already imposed when a person's parents decided to launch a pregnancy and carry it to term.
As someone who recognizes the hypocrisy of human rights people in condemning judicial death sentences while recognizing imposing the original death sentence as a "human right", I sometimes feel could shriek my lungs into shreds in protest.

2 comments:

Karl said...

Unfortunately, no paper will ever publish out and out pessimism, as they rely on continued reproduction to ensure a constant supply of readers!

Shadow said...

Agreed with Karl up there.

Great post Srikant. Keep it up, so I can link your blog on mine, ok?

=)