QUEST: Crime and punishment

Quest asked students for their views on 'Should capital punishment be abolished?'. Here's what some of them had to say

For long, capital punishment has been exercised throughout the world. Its effect and consequence has been much debated. Some call the practise ancient and inhuman, that it spreads the inferno, rather than extinguishing it. The other half would say that a criminal dead is a criminal less. My opinion is that simply killing someone is ancient, inhuman, undignified and disgusting, and in a broader sense: ineffective. But aren't those criminals the same? They too, can easily be described as: inhuman, undignified and disgusting.  Capital punishment might be a disgusting solution, but can anyone deny that it's fear that will keep others from committing a crime?

Anirudh Kapoor

The Indian School, New Delhi

Crimes happen in our country almost every day. While some come into focus because of the media, while others pass silently, without anybody even knowing what happened. After a gruesome crime has been committed, people believe that capital punishment should be given to the criminals immediately. But capital punishment is something, which is irreversible. So it is very important that we make sure that the person is guilty before giving death penalty to the person, as there are chances of the person being innocent. While giving death penalty to a person seems very harsh, on the other hand, it should definitely not be abolished. Whether people admit it or not, everyone has a fear of death. Many people think twice before committing a crime, because they do fear of death penalty.

Nupur Lilaramani, IX-B

Springdales School,Dhaula Kuan

"If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death." These words by Immanuel Kant, the 18th century German philosopher tells us why a criminal deserves capital punishment. Evidence suggest that death penalty has done little to deter criminals over the last century but it's also true that there are some crimes — genocide, rape and murder of a child —that are so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment. Capital punishment should not be abolished for it sends out a message to future criminals that they shall be dealt with severely. Life imprisonment is not enough for some crimes. In a developing country with a high crime rate, capital punishment is a strong signal to citizens to become civil and law abiding. 

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