BLOOD ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT
September 9, 2019
Capital punishment, popularly known as death penalty is considered as a form of the best justifiable criminal execution. The legal and judicial system across the globe, consider this form of punishment to be the best way of punishing a wrongdoer. The concept of capital punishment is defined by law and imposed without biasness. It was and still is practiced by the justice delivering authority of the 'state', whereby a lawbreaker or precisely a criminal is hung to death which is of course solemnized only with the proper legal orders and proceedings done by the state. Basically it is a government-sanctioned practice of giving punishment which was always present in every recognized society.
Now the question arises, how far is this practice of capital punishment justifiable?
The principle of capital punishment is that, certain lawbreakers deserves nothing other than death penalty as a just proportionate and effective punishment. Problems of death penalty is not with its principle but with its implementation. Murders forfeit their rights as humans while taking away the life of another. By waving such a powerful punishment as the response to murder, society affirms the value that is placed upon the right to life of the innocents. According to the datas, most of the cases of murder shows that, innocent people have been killed by the released, paroled or escaped murderers. Those who are against of the death penalty prefer to ignore the fact that they themselves are responsible for its high costs, by causing a never-ending succession of appeals. Prisons in many countries especially India, are over-crowded and under-funded, and this problem is made worse by life sentences or delayed death sentences for murderers.
Another very popular way of punishment is 'life imprisonment'. 'Life imprisonment' is a form of punishment, where a culprit is kept in the prison till his death. This debate topic reminds me of one of the very popular short stories of Anton Chekhov called 'The Bet', where the protagonist being a lawyer himself spends his 20 years of life just to prove that life imprisonment is better than the death penalty.
In simple terms, execution is a state-sanctioned killing, and it devalues the respect we place on human life; how can we say that killing is wrong if we sanction killing criminals? More importantly, the whole idea of capital punishment, is outweighed by the proven risk of executing innocent people. It is not necessary for the judicial system to always delivery the right verdict; for nothing in this world is perfect. What if an innocent's life is taken away by the state, and after some days of the incident, the already dead guilty turns out to be an innocent? Who will take the responsibility of this crime then? There are so many unanswered interrogations. Humanity states that If one doesn't have the ability to create humans how can it have the right to take away the life of someone else?
Implementation of the death penalty, particularly in India, can suffer social or racial biasness and in fact can be used as a weapon against a certain section of society.
Some of us believe that life imprisonment is quite sane than capital punishment which sounds more cruel. It is often said that capital punishment cheapens the value of human life. However, 'justice must not only be done, but shall seem to be done'. Capital punishment is considered to be the best known way of punishing the culprit from ages, but the state must resolve to get with new ideas whereby capital punishment doesn't prove itself to overrule things on humanitarian ground.
Imprisonment is a better punishment on humanitarian grounds as well as on the grounds of the retributive theory as many believe that after you die your suffering ends but in case of imprisonment you have to live with the consequences of your action. But the issue is when the imprisoned persons are not paying for their crimes but are stuck there due to some technicality and The Prison Reforms cell under the auspices of the Legal Aid cell at Lloyd Law College, top private law college in india, has also worked for the right of the imprisoned as and has helped in freeing five persons from the prison who had been stuck there due to things like lost paperwork, lack of money for bail etc.