Relevancy of Capital Punishment -Should it be abolished or not?

Sunita Rani


        Crime is not a new concept. The concept of crime is also present in primitive times where every wrongful act was not considered a crime. The offender had to give compensation to the victim for the wrong committed by him. That compensation was called “Bot”. The King gave punishment only for the wrongs done against ‘religion’ and ‘state’, these wrongs were called as “Blotless Crimes”. Murder was not a crime at that time. The common modes of punishment prevalent in different parts of the world includes corporal punishments such as Flogging, Mutilation, Branding, Pillories, Chaining persons together, Stoning, Banishment, Transportation & Death Penalty or Capital Punishment. With Urbanisation and Modernisation, the crime rate has also been increased and a number of codified laws came into existence. Capital punishment continues to be used in the United States despite controversy over its merits and its effectiveness as deterrent to serious crime. A sentence of death may be carried out by one of five lawful means; Electrocution, Hanging, Lethal Injections, Gas Chambers & Firing Squads.

         The death penalty or capital punishment is reserved as punishment for premediated murders, espionage, abetment of mutiny, waging wars against government of India, rape with murder, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, kidnapping for ransom, repeat offender of rape (Sec. 376E), dacoity with murder (Sec. 396), etc. In many countries, death penalty is also for drug trafficking, human trafficking, serious cases of corruption and juvenile offenders.

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