Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Should Capital Punishment be Abolished?” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Should Capital Punishment be Abolished?” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Should Capital Punishment be Abolished?


The death -sentence for Mohammad Afzal Guru, who masterminded the attack on Parliament, has again brought into focus the controversy over the abolition of capital punishment. As is the case in many developed nations, capital punishment should be abolished in India too. The arguments are well known. No one, not even the state, has authority over any life. A criminal could realise his mistake and turn over a new leaf and even be of service to society. But our judiciary does not seem convinced yet. The Guru Venkata Reddy case has thrown up some interesting guidelines for granting clemency. Abolition of capital punishment has to come by law enacted by Parliament.

No doubt, capital punishment is something pertaining to old times. Moreover, if the guilty gets capital punishment, he does not get a chance to correct himself. All punishments should aim at reforming the guilty and their destruction. Any reconsideration requires a case-by-case study,. and it should be ensured that there is no other consideration other than humanitarian. Factors such as larger interests of society and the country should attract merit. The debate should not simply hover around human rights.

The mainstream opinion as far as capital punishment is concerned seems to be that it ought to be abolished, but not in the Parliament attack case. Capital punishment, per se, should not be abolished. There are far too many rules in India and even more number of instances of rule-breaking. The number of rules can be considerably lessened and instances of rule-breaking reduced if a sense of dire consequences can be infused in the common law breaker. Capital punishment, applied in the case of extreme cases, seems to be the best bet for infusing such a sense of deterrence. It should not be abolished.

Capital punishment is to be condemned, instead rigorous imprisonment for very long periods may be awarded for heinous crimes. The relatives of the prisoners should be allowed to see them, say, once in a year so that the trauma of living in solitary confinement is made known to society. And this may dissuade people from committing heinous crimes. The other points in this favour includes:

  • Capital punishment is an extreme step. Therefore, it should be awarded only for premeditated, cold-blooded murder and acts of terrorism.
  • Sometimes life imprisonment is a viable alternative when the criminal enters the prison in the prime of youth, his most productive years are over by the time he is released. He is tempered and mellowed down and ceases to be a threat to society.
  • Capital punishment is useful neither for the criminal nor the country. Scope for reform must be there. Jail reforms have to be effected that help reform the criminal and make him useful to society.
  • Capital punishment will only lead to retaliation by accomplices. This leads to more crime. Therefore, capital punishment should be avoided at all costs. But there are exceptions. Depending on the nature of the crime and criminal capital punishment should be awarded.
  • We cannot reform a murderer by murdering him. Killing a person will lessen his suffering. Life-imprisonment will make him feel guilty for the rest of his life.

The Other End

Punishments awarded for commission of crimes in a judicial process are to serve one of two purposes — the correction of the offender to become a good citizen; and eliminate a person who proves to be a serious danger to society. Capital punishment is of the second category. In many countries capital punishment has been abolished while in India it still existence. There has been a debate going on as to whether it should be abolished. Where the security of the nation or society is threatened by the actions of an individual, he/she does not deserve to be part of the society and should be eliminated. If such a person is awarded a lesser punishment like imprisonment, there is a likelihood that others will take advantage, leading to greater threat to society.

In such cases, capital punishment is the only way out. Nevertheless, even in such cases, the judicial process should establish his/her crime beyond doubt so that no innocent person is put to death. Law and order is essential for a country. Terrorists and murders should get capital punishment. Dhananjay Chatterjee, for instance, who raped and killed a school girl, deserved the capital punishment he got. Capital punishment should not be abolished.

Things have changed a lot, though. The rule of law seldom prevails. Terror and anarchy are on the rise. Capital punishment should be imposed on such depraved people. Even Presidential mercy petitions should not be entertained. For other crimes, capital punishment may be avoided.

In India, for various reasons court cases are delayed and by the time the judgment is pronounced, in all probability, the original episode would have been long forgotten. There are a number of cases where the culprits go scot-free or escape with minor punishment even for such crimes as murder, rape, and dowry-related deaths.. The punishment should be such that it serves as a deterrence for others as well. For serious and unpardonable offences, capital punishment should continue.

Capital punishment is absolutely necessary for hardcore criminals. No clemency should ever be granted to such murderers who did not think of other families when they perpetrated the crime. Moreover, a cold-blooded murderer will never change. No reform will transform him. A leopard never changes its spots. Therefore, such criminals deserve only the capital punishment. Present jail conditions are not conducive to reforming a criminal. The number of people who have been reformed through imprisonment are negligible. Many criminals propagate crime even in prison. Therefore, capital punishment is the only solution. Finally, Capital punishment is only awarded to criminals whose crimes have a serious impact on society. It is only after much investigation, presentation of hard facts to establish the accused’s involvement in the crime, and a lot of deliberation, that court awards capital punishment. Therefore, it is justified.


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