Suryatapa Mukherjee writes for opinion on topic capital punishment and how it can be justified financially, socially and morally.
Capital Punishment dictates that we should punish a criminal by murdering them. This leaves us in a position no criminally different than that of the murderer’s. Except, there is a difference. A criminal is not innocent; a victim is.
Conservative peer, Lord Tebbit, has said, “I have kept track year by year since the death penalty was suspended, then abolished, of the number of people who have been killed by persons previously convicted of homicide. It has averaged three people a year. About 150 people killed because their killers have been freed to kill again. Would our courts have sentenced to death three innocent people a year, year in year out? I doubt it.”
Sentencing an innocent person to death would be very, very rare, if it happened at all. The jury and the judge hold power of great consequence. It is too great a power to be utilised without considerable reason. They would obviously be cautious with a case where death penalty could be applicable. Also, there are numbers of protocols at every level of conviction that help an accused prove his innocence and escape punishment.
On the other hand, if a rightly accused criminal is subjected to life sentence, he may harm other inmates, prison officials, and as is mostly prevalent, carry out further murders through the use of contacts outside prison.
Also, in a ‘system’, where several laws are imposed on all by few, inequitable application of laws is unavoidable. However, that hardly signifies that all laws should be suspended.
Though Capital Punishment has usually been overtly expensive, there are several ways of administration. Efficiently implementing the cheapest method can take care of the problem. Moreover, expense of a punishment is of lesser significance than its necessity.
As for the question of Capital Punishment being an effective deterrent, it is true that people often do not think of punishment while committing a crime. But it really depends on the severity of the punishment. If we are told that on surpassing the deadline of an assignment we may be penalized a few marks, we will try to make the deadline. If we are told that on surpassing the deadline, we will be marked zero for the entire module, we will make the deadline.
Death is a terrible, terrible thing. It is the greatest fear of the human condition. People deserve second chances but, not all people. I feel, it is fair that John Wayne Gacy was executed for 33 murders, Timothy McVeigh for 168, and Osama Bin Laden for nearly 3000 in the 9/11 incident. Capital Punishment should be administered sparingly, only when it is absolutely necessary but to rule it out completely would be disastrous.