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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Death Penalty: Right or Wrong” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Death Penalty: Right or Wrong

The Indian penal code provides for capital punishment for criminal conspiracy, waging or attempting to wage war against the Government of India, abetment of mutiny giving or fabricating false capital evidence in officers leading to the conviction, abetment of suicide committed by a child or insane or delirious person or a person who is intoxicated and murder in decoity. In India, death penalty is discretionary rather than mandatory in all capital offences except in case of murder by a life correct. Section 303 of an IPC lays down “whoever, being under sentence of imprisonment for life, commits murder shall be punished with death.”

For various capital offences the judges no doubt take into account the background of the crime, the age of the offender and the mental and physical condition of the accused. Moreover the appellate courts also show some leniency. And top of all there is the executive clemency exercised by the President of India. The fail that only 25 to 40 percent of convicted offenders are hanged every year, goes to prove that both of judicial process and executive clemency are available to a significant percentage of offenders condemned to death.

Meanwhile the President of India has rejected the mercy petition field on behalf of Dhananjay Chattarjee and he was sent to gallows.

The recent announcement by the Government that it was not in favour of abolishing the death penalty has again highlighted the question raised by many human rights activists. Is it consistent with human dignity ?

The question was raised even in 1946 on the eve of independence. Since then we have been discussing the relevance of capital punishment. Does it really solve problems.

The opposition to abolition of the death penalty stems from the myth that it will lead an increase in the number of murders. The fact is that in the state of Travancore there were 162 murders between 1946 and 1950 when the death penalty was not in force. But in the five years from 1950 when it was re-imposed. There were 967 murderers. It has been argued that it is not possible to fight such crimes by framing law. What we need is to target the root of a crime. Discontent in a society is one of the reasons for such crimes.

Those who do not support capital punishment often quite ignore incidents like Mumbai or attack on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s convoy in Tirupati. But we should remember that terrorist and suicidal maniacs responsible for the blasts and other such crimes also do not care about the extremely of punishment. They are already beyond the pale of humanity and have to be fought using innovative ideas and methods of counter terrorists.

It was 1931 where the death penalty was seriously challenged in the Bihar Assembly. A member of the Assembly unsuccessfully sought to introduce a bill seeking its abolition. In 1946, on the eve of independence the then Union Home Minister stated that the Government did not think it were to abolish capital punishment. Ten years late when the government asked the states for their opinions; most of them expressed support for the death penalty.

In the 35th report produced in 1967 the Law Commission took the view that capital punishment acted as a deterrent to crime. But the statistics did not prove these so called deterrent have any effect the Supreme Court traditionally has not questioned the death sentence per. In the Jagmohan Singh case (1973) it agreed with the Law Commission that capital punishment should be retained.

But subsequently cases such as those of Eliga Anawana (1974) and Rajender Prasad (1979) saw dissenting voices being raised in the Apex Court. These led (1980) case by Constitution Bench. The Bench concluded by four to one vote that the death penalty did not violate Article 14 or Article 21 of the constitution. But some liberal judges tried to develop the alternative by holding that the consent could involve Article 21 in the event of the death sentence not being carried out even after two years and demanded that it be quashed.

Amnesty International, a strong opponent of the death penalty world wide, cites the Boldus report prepared in the U.S. to argue that capital punishment is socially oppressive. It found that if the homicide victims were white, the killers were four times more likely to get the death sentences that if those murdered were black. It can not be disputed that the outcome of any trial depends to a large extent on the quality of legal advice that the accused receive. This loads the scales in favour of the rich the arbitrariness of the sentencing mechanism in India persuades one to strongly argue against releasing the death penalty but it is the Parliament who has the right to take capital punishment.

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