After the recent spate of hangings the debate about the desirability of capital punishment has revived. Some advocate abolishing capital punishment for being inhuman and uncivilized. Others insist that no satisfaction to the victims would be delivered without retribution through the death penalty. Until now I was in two minds. But the chances of miscarriage of justice and innocents being irrevocably hanged given our justice system run by incompetent prosecutors and judges gave reason to pause.
In the light of the revelation by retired Justice KT Thomas the case against hanging became strong. Justice Thomas presided over the Bench that awarded the death penalty to three killers of Rajiv Gandhi. The judge now says that the judgment was flawed. He said the judgment “failed to go into the antecedents, nature and character of the accused”.
If such an error can be committed by the judiciary while awarding even a death sentence how can capital punishment be justified?
Nevertheless there remains the problem of delivering satisfaction to relatives of victims of heinous crimes. I have a solution to which I had briefly referred earlier. I think it would be acceptable and effective. My solution is that criminals deserving the death sentence may be subjected to torture that is worse than death. In this manner capital punishment would be avoided but retribution achieved. The problem is of course that torture is banned by the UN and international bodies as gross violation of human rights. This is where I believe my unique formula will succeed.
I propose that perpetrators of heinous crimes be confined for eight hours in a small room suitably wired to broadcast non-stop the recorded speeches of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Mr. LK Advani on a daily basis. No human rights organization could object because the inanities uttered by these leaders could be projected as profound wisdom to educate the prisoners. Same speeches are inflicted on ordinary citizens. Only the quantum dose of the speeches for prisoners would be much, much higher and sustained on a daily basis.
It is my considered view that if this were done the prisoner by the seventh day would want to commit suicide.