Law Commission of India is likely to sum up its report on abolition of death penalty in the nation as it nears the end of the three year tenure on August 31 this year. Of late the hanging of serial blast accused Yakub Memon raised very much hue and cry in the nation.
Mahathma Gandhi, father of the nation said that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
Death penalty is a retributive form of punishment. Now most of the countries cry for reformative form of punishment. Again as rightly said, it is the crime and not the criminal who should be abolished.
No one is born a criminal, but the society makes him one.
Jean Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract said “In any case, frequent punishments are a sign of weakness or slackness in the government. There is no man so bad that he cannot be made good for something. No man should be put to death, even as an example, if he can be left to live without danger to society.”
Anton Chekhov's words were “The State is not God. It has not the right to take away what it cannot restore when it wants to.”
Victor Hugo's words:“It is wrong to become absorbed in the divine law to such a degree as not to perceive human law. Death belongs to God alone. By what right do men touch that unknown thing?”
There are more such words from more famous persons which are cherished by a civilised society which considers these words as ageless sayings.
Former President late APJ Abdul Kalam was one of the advocates for abolishion of death penalty.
Several nations have also banned death penalty. It is said that Venezuela was the first country to abolish death penalty. Recently Connecticut Supreme Court had outlawed Death Penalty. You can read the news here.
According to Amnesty International which works to end executions since the year 1977, death penalty is cruel, inhuman and degrading. It opposes the form of punishment regardless of who is accused, what is crime, guilt or what is the method of execution.
Several methods are being used by various nations for the execution which are beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, shooting.
It is a fact that various international conventions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights vote against death penalty as a form of punishment.
Law Commission of India had sought suggestions and comments in May 2014 as a consultation on capital punishment. Now it will be interesting to see how Law Commission frames the report mostly in the time of terrorist upsurge in the whole world. Reliability or effectiveness of Life imprisonment or any other form of punishment as an alternate of capital punishment will be decided upon in the report.