What are the ethical concerns regarding Capital Punishment? Should India do away with the capital punishment? Argue.

Published: April 20, 2018

The ethical concerns regarding Capital Punishment are:
Value of human life: Human life is highly valuable in this universe. Those who think that capital punishment should be banned believe that even the worst offender should not be deprived of his life and instead should be tried with other forms of punishment like-life imprisonment.
Right to live: Those who are against capital punishment believe that every person on this earth has Right to Live, even those who commit murder. If the court sentences a person to death it violates the person’s right to live.
Execution of the innocent: The basic concept of Jurisprudence is that 100 culprits can be left to go free but no innocent should be punished. When punished with alternatives to death penalty, even if an innocent gets prosecuted due to flaws in Justice System, he/she can get a chance in future to appeal for bail and prove innocence.  But same cannot happen once a person is hanged to death.
Justice delivery must aim to be reformative not punitive: The capital punishment goes against the cardinal principle of justice delivery system which must be reformative not punitive. Capital punishment doesn’t provide opportunity for a meaningful reformative process as the fate of the accused is decided to meet the death.
Eye for an Eye must not be an attitude of the State: The state which is bestowed with the responsibility of maintaining social order and uphold justice in the society cannot take the route of eye for an eye. It will lead to anarchy.
 
Capital Punishment in India
India is one of the few countries which have a place still left for capital punishment in its law books. And often India is criticised for the same.
But it must be kept in mind that India is a socially and communally sensitive country. The democracy is still in its nascent stage. Until the true ideals of democracy are deep rooted, instabilities in the surrounding regions of the country are addressed convincingly and unity and integrity of the nation is forged, a strong deterrence mechanism is a necessity in India.
Capital punishment is surely a strong deterrence mechanism for addressing the challenges India is facing like terrorism, violence against female, communalism. But capital punishment cannot acquire a status of permanency in a democratic country like India. The triad of legislature, executive and judiciary must take concrete steps with inclusiveness of citizens to strengthen the mechanisms to build alternate deterrence mechanisms in place of capital punishments.
Until such mechanisms are developed capital punishments must continue.

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