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Will capital punishment prevent rapes?

Thursday, 27 December 2012 - 1:17pm IST Updated: Thursday, 27 December 2012 - 1:18pm IST | Agency: dna

The Delhi rape case has attracted a nationwide protest, with citizens in every corner of the country taking to the streets demanding death for rapists.

The Delhi rape case has attracted a nationwide protest, with citizens in every corner of the country taking to the streets demanding death for rapists. While some are suggesting castration, many feel only punishment won’t bring down crimes against women. The problem is mainly the mindset of society towards women, which needs to be changed. Speak Up gets you opinions...

Chemical castration is the harshest punishment
I don’t think capital punishment for rapists will act as a deterrent. On the contrary, the rapists might kill the victim in an attempt to not leave any clues behind. Instead, we should change the mindset of our society, especially in the north and rural areas where the male child still enjoys a special status compared to a girl child. For many, having a male child is still a boon as right from childhood to adulthood, he can get away with anything. The putar (son) hang-up is very much prevalent everywhere in India.

I think chemical castration is the harshest punishment for rapists so that they can never force themselves on any other woman in their lifetime. Death punishment is an easy way out for a killer rapist, they should be made to suffer till their natural death. In case of the Delhi rapists, have their small intestines removed and castrate them, make them suffer the way the victim is suffering right now.
Namita Shabad, Citizen

Under present law, a rapist serves only 6-7 yrs jail term
The recent Delhi rape case that has stirred a nationwide protest can be one major jump board to propel the demand to speed up law process in case of crimes against women. In rape crimes, the victim is the biggest sufferer. Under our present law, a rapist serves at the most 6-7 years of jail term and is released, but for the victim it becomes a lifetime punishment to live with the stigma.

After being a victim of such a horrific crime, a woman is then neglected and victimised by society all through her life. With no rehabilitation centre available in the country, a rape victim is left alone to mend and struggle for a lifetime. In my opinion, a death penalty or castration along with lifetime imprisonment will be the right deterrent to remove such evils from society.
Girish Kulkarni, Honarary Director, Snehalaya NGO

In many cases, the real culprits are not caught
I don’t think capital punishment will help in preventing rape crimes against women. We should take steps to change the attitude of men towards women. Females are looked upon as objects meant to fulfill male desires.

The worst fear with capital punishment is that the rapist might kill the victim in order to destroy evidence. The suggestion of castration can be considered. However, in many cases the real perpetrators are not caught and an innocent is falsely implicated. What if a wrong person is punished? It is very difficult for a rape victim to come out and say she has been raped. We need to have a system which increases the conviction rate.
Rama Sarode, advocate

Get rid of tinted glasses on vehicle windows
Capital punishment is needed but it cannot alone bring down rape cases. It may serve as a deterrent for a short period of time but in the long run, it will prove to be ineffective without long-term measures. The root cause of rape lies in the mindset of the rapist who believes that women are inferior to men.

Also, the wrong attitude of men that if a woman smokes, drinks or dresses provocatively, she herself is to be blamed for getting raped, needs to be changed to bring down rape cases. Measures like getting rid of tinted glasses on vehicle windows, helplines for women and increased patrolling, especially during nights, are equally necessary. In this particular case, I would say that the culprits deserve death penalty for the sheer barbaric nature of their crime.
Urvi Mohan, student

The mindset towards women needs to be changed
I don’t agree that hanging rapists will reduce the number of rapes. This logic is faulty for the simple reason that though in the recent past, terrorists have been hanged in various countries, terrorism itself has not reduced. The people who commit rapes will not be deterred by the fear of hanging. As for the idea of castrating a rapist, I think it is totally wrong as it is inhumane. The rapes and crimes against women are caused due to the narrow mindset of people who feel that women are inferior. The solution lies in creating awareness among society at large that the two sexes are equal.
Suraj Thube, student

It is natural to demand death for killer rapists
No, a death sentence will not discourage rapists from committing horrific crimes. As per our country’s law, death sentence is meted out in the rarest of rare cases. A harsh punishment is given if it is a sexual assault, rape and murder case. It is a natural human reaction to demand death for killer rapists when you hear about tragic incidents such as the Delhi rape case.

As a mother I would say that rapists should be castrated, but being a lawyer, I would suggest life imprisonment without mitigation. Castration is an ideal punishment but life in jail without parole is equally a harsh punishment. We need to find a measure where punishment is not only deterrent but equally harsh. For anyone to think that he will be behind bars for the rest of his life for committing a horrific crime will be unbearable for the culprit.

Under public pressure, the government may make a clause for harsh punishment. Then some organisation will challenge it in the court of law on the grounds of human rights due to which the court will strike down the punishment clause. We have to find a punishment, which will stand in the court of law.
Aroona Nafday, Advocate

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