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Capital punishment

  • Published
    2nd Jun, 2022


There has been a intense and persistent crisis in the fairness of administering the death penalty in India for many decades, now that has been acknowledged in judgments of the apex court, by former judges, lawyers and researchers etc. at the heart of the crisis, there are several concerns regarding arbitrariness in sentencing procedure and mere consideration of relevant information about the accused in the court room.

Is it justifiable?

  • If yes, then why?
    • Retribution- One of the key principles of retribution is that people should get what they deserve in proportion to the severity of their crime. This argument states that real justice requires people to suffer for their wrongdoing and to suffer in a way appropriate for the crime.
    • Deterrence - By executing convicted murderers, would-be murderers can be deterred from killing people. 
    • Closure: It is often argued that the death penalty provides closure for victims' families.
  • If not, then why?
    • Questionable: The statistical evidence doesn't confirm that deterrence works. Some of those executed may not have been capable of being deterred because of mental illness or defect.
    • The risk of executing the innocent persists: There are certain risk of misinterpretation of the evidences and instances of false case, increases the risk of executing innocent persists.
    • Morality: It is seen as inhumane. Thus, the morality of the death penalty is debatable.
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