Can the Death Penalty Be Justified?

Of the 198 countries for which data is available, 98 have abolished the death penalty by law; seven have abolished it for “ordinary crimes” and 35 in “practice,” that is, where no executions have taken place in the last 10 years, and there is an established policy and international commitment to not use the death penalty.

 

The spate of death penalty judgments by the Indian state in recent times calls for a re-examining of the ethics of capital punishment.

 

In his article “On the Question of Capital Punishment" published in Vol 30, No 52 of the Economic and Political Weekly, Nishad Patnaik examines the two basic types of ethical justification usually advanced in favour of capital punishment.

 

Usually, two kinds of arguments are made for the death penalty.

 

 

 

For an in depth discussion of why both these arguments are not tenable, read the article here.

 

 

Curated by: Sohnee Harshey [sohnee@epw.in]

Illustration: Chaitanya Mandugula

Must Read

Do water policies recognise the differential requirements and usages of water by women and the importance of adequate availability and accessibility?
Personal Laws in India present a situation where abolishing them in the interest of gender justice also inadvertently benefits the reactionary side.   
Concerns have been raised about criminalising triple talaq now that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 has been passed as an ordinance. This reading list is to help...
Back to Top