Gist of Editorials: Is it Time to Abolish the Death Penalty (The Hindu) | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (Polity and Governance)

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  • This year India introduced the death penalty for those who rape minors.
  • Arguments for abolition:
    • Most of the civilized world has abolished it.
    • It does not deter murder more than life imprisonment.
    • The death penalty is error-ridden.
    • It unfairly targets the poor and marginalized.
    • Punishment should not imitate crime; we do not rape rapists.
    • Administering the death penalty is traumatic.
    • UN resolution calls for a moratorium on the death penalty.
  • Arguments against abolition:
    • Proportionately punishment is just.
    • It has been upheld in liberal democracies.
    • India’s neighborhood is not peaceful.
    • A punishment cannot be judged by its impact on criminals.
    • This punishment is a reflection of societal mores.
    • The punishment is not arbitrary as courts exercise caution.
    • It is given only in rarest of rare cases.
    • In the last 13 years, only four people have been executed.
  • Way forward
    • Death must only be imposed when no alternative is left.
    • Both severity and swiftness of punishment should coexist.