It took 7 years for Nirbhaya’s mother to see the light of dawn.

On the 7th of January 2020, a Delhi Court issued death warrants to the remaining 4 convicts (out of 6) for Nirbhaya’s gang rape and murder in 2012. The convicts were given 14 days to seek legal remedies.

India couldn’t be more thrilled as justice was surely served in silverware!

Capital Punishment:

There are 53 countries that still have capital punishment, and India is one of them. These legal death penalties in India are served mostly in the cases of murder, terrorism, rape, and child sexual abuse.

And discussions pertaining to hanging as an inhumane form of punishment, or it being a just treatment to the convicts deserving the same, has always been a constant debate with strong opposition from both sides.

Here are the takes.

Hanging Is Undignified:

The 26/11 attacks (2008 Mumbai terror attacks) served as a portal to open up several discussions on whether capital punishment should be abolished in India or not. Those against capital punishment, pertaining to the Indian context, debated that it had nothing to do with the whole talk of what is “humane”.

“Execution kills the criminals and not the crime,” said AP Singh in 2018, lawyer of two of Nirbhaya case convicts. On the other hand, statistically speaking, extended trial periods in India makes death penalties ineffective due to the long waits for the victims’ families.

As for the rest of the world, a call for a universal capital punishment ban is made because it is felt that everyone has the right to live, and death by hanging is cruel and only makes the society more barbaric.

The crimes of several criminals are shaped by the violent and/or unethical backgrounds they come from. Few convicts who were executed may have acted inadvertently due to undiagnosed mental illnesses.

Capital punishment and death penalty as a criminal killed by the government for the crime of murder with 3D illustration elements

Hanging Is The Correct Solution:

Opposition to the above in India, with regards to the Nirbhaya rape case, says that there’s a catch- sparing convicts, especially those who have committed higher-intensity crimes (those that are highly unethical and violent in nature) would only reduce the faith of the citizens in the justice system of India.

The families of the victim will feel a sense of denied justice and the general public will begin to regard the judiciary as incompetent due to lack of proper punishment to the criminals.

Particularly, those in favour of the death penalty claim that it stands as a warning message to potential criminals. As for the victim or the victim’s family, after undergoing such traumatic experiences, their only hope would be that the convicts suffer equally, if not more and “get what he deserves”.

Also Read: Are Abortion Laws In India More Progressive Than Other Parts Of The World?

Does Death Penalty To Her Rapists Serve Justice To Nirbhaya?

It is rightfully said that “Justice delayed is justice denied”. It is about 7 years after the fateful night of 16th December 2012 that her criminals (at least a few of them) have been sentenced to death.

We Indians collectively will have to keep our head low for failing not just her, but ALL our sisters, who live in the constant fear of being eve-teased, sexually assaulted or raped.

Should her rapists be hanged to death? Nirbhaya wanted them burnt alive. The long-stretched process of delivering the verdict might seem like giving them free tickets for a “hang out”.

But again, we did the most we could through our slow and inefficient justice system. Can the debate on whether we should still have hanging as an execution method continue, citing her example? 

Nirbhaya was gang-raped and had a slow, painful death. Her last moments in the hospital would have been the relief of being treated, alongside her trauma.

It would be only respectful that we do not involve her in these arguments even if some of us are against capital punishment- because, again, she DID state that she wanted her rapists burned alive, and that’s the only answer.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: Business Today, BBC, India Today

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