Death Sentence:Is it deterant to reduce crime?

By ObadaSafi,JMI,New Delhi

There is a long history of philosophising about life.Nay, ever since man developed his consciousness, he has been contemplating about the purpose of life.To Shakespeare, “We are such stuff as dreams are made of (on), our little life is rounded with a sleep”. Life is bracketed with death.It is so transient and unreal,so short lived and insubstantial that one is forced to regard life as nothing but a dream.To begin with my understanding about life, I wish to see the composition of human and life in the light of recent brouhaha over awarding death sentence to those accused who mercilessly raped,drugged and sedated which causes death of a 8-year old child in Kathua, in the state of Jammu&Kashmir.The question as to why crimes are soaringsky-high in the contemporary world which claims to have reached the zenith of civilization, has been agitating the minds of many legal philosophers.The criminologists involved in the study of criminal behaviour and in the researches of crime and punishment for various reason, despite evolving numerous preventive theories, have failed in controlling and fighting the crimes.Thehelpnessness of man and of his legal machineries in eliminating heinous crimes has convinced us that no legal philosophy without inculcating transcendental consciousness, can succeed in extinguishing or uprooting crime from human society, which has been become today the hot-bed of crimes.

Crime is being treated merely as an offence against the State or against the people, punishable by the State or by the law courts.Since man-made law has shifted from divine law and, consequently, has lost its grip on the psychology of the criminals.The beginning of the scientific study of crime and punishment many curative and preventive hypothesis have been advanced.Biological and genetic factors in crimes were studied and theories of crime causation were developed.Psychological,psycho-analytical and psycho-pathological perspectives on crimes were examined.But all enquiries and researches failed to solve the problem of eliminating crime.Capital punishment for rape convicts is now seldom employed.The doctrines of corporal and capital punishment have almost disappeared.The death penalities have been eliminated in the Scandinavian countries,WestGermany,theNetherland,Austria,Italy,Portugal and Switzerland.Did the relation between criminology,sociology and psychology and their application to legal researches produce tangible results?Did researcher improve the court approach to sentencing the rapist or the planning-methods of law enforcing agencies?Did they help in the crime prevention programmes?The answer to these questions are in the negative.Crime against women and child are on the increase and are beyond the control of human legislations and preventive theories promoted by the penologists.

No miscarriage of justice is allowed in our society,either in the name of compassion,mercy and pity or in consideration of human frailties and sexual weaknesses.Shouldn’t we ponder over the deterent punishment given to rapists?Is it the only right way to eliminate the crime against women?I have utmost sympathy for the victims who go through the unmentionable trauma but the procedural method and court formalities is yet another burden on them to seek justice.

Adding or introducing new laws have not solved any problems.We need a social awakening which has to be brought about by the people themselves.Social activists should devote time to educate people that it is not proper to ostracise a rape victim.Perhaps it is not possible to banish crime altogether from society but it can be controlled and minimized.Decentralization of society in various fields with several centres of authority can go a long way in instilling into the people a sense of responsibility.Every member of the society must realize that he is an effective unit of the social organization and that his acts of commission and omission may affect the entire fabric of social existence.The civil society should mobilize their minds into discovering ways and means of stemming the tide of the increasing crime rate in public life.If it were not checked in time it would spell disaster and ruin for the country.