Yesterday’s Daily Mirror had this –
“A vacancy exists for a hangman at the Welikada prison”.
Pay a guy to kill a guy who has already killed another guy? What a job.
According to the news story, an executioner will be recruited if the government plans to reintroduce the death sentence. Now that’s scary. Not helpful as some might think. And I say it for the following reason –
Firstly, I don’t really have much faith in all this law and the justice system, not just in our country but anywhere for that matter. Killing is final. If you kill a person, there’s no way of getting them back.
How certain are you that it’s the right guy behind bars? Well, in some cases it’s fine. It’s all there – the evidence, the witnesses – all pointing out that that person is indeed the criminal. But, more often than not we’ve heard of people who have been wrongly accused. Having spent years in prison, labeled a criminal and looked down by society…they walk free when the authorities find the “real” criminal.
But this is not all. What about those killers who never get caught? Backed by even more powerful groups, they murder, in the most brutal manner, and disappear into the daylight (?).
Does the accused get to defend himself well and truly?
Secondly, is killing someone over a crime they’ve committed really the answer?
Assuming they’ve caught the real criminal, is killing him the answer? Or wouldn’t it be better to see why he did that, what made him do that, was their a choice, what other course of action could he have taken, is there a way that this particular person can be rehabilitated?
Further, true he must have killed someone, but is he really the killer – as in, was he merely carrying out someone else’s orders? So is it right to punish only him? Shouldn’t they also find the big guy and punish him too? If he’s left free, he can always find another disgruntled youth to carry out the killings. This life lost is not much for him.
Is there a lesson to be learnt in putting someone to death? Will it scare away others, or bring down the crime rate?
Thirdly, isn’t it just wrong to kill? Is killing, under any circumstances justifiable? Well, it probably is in the case of ruthless terror leaders, for example. History tells us if these men are shown even a little sympathy, there’s a chance that they would always come back, stronger and killing them is the only answer.
Recently I watched Uppalawanna (I know). A particular aspect of that film really got to me – the Bhikkuni, Uppalawanna (played by Sangeetha) treats a severely wounded young man who runs into the premises of the hermitage after killing another village boy. This act did have its not-so-good consequences. But, what Uppalawanna asked was this – true, he is a murderer, but he was dying. Is it wrong to help someone like that?
I’m not saying murderers should walk free. They should be punished. But, should they be killed?