Death penalty for child rapists?

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The Indian government has been spooked with all the child rapes. Desperate to placate an angry populace, they have decided to give the death penalty to child rapists. Either death or life in prison.

There are differing views on this, but death for child rape (rape of children below the age of 12) is more like a punishment, not a preventive. As punishment, death seems fair to me because anyone who rapes babies and little children is not fit to live. Just a day ago, a man in Indore raped a four month old baby. And there are many cases of people raping toddlers, such as this case where a man raped his eight month old cousin sister. Such demented people do not deserve a place in society, and nor do they deserve to live in jail, and have tax payers pay for their upkeep.

But when it comes to deterring child rapes, it is doubtful that capital punishment will work. For one thing, getting a conviction is a problem. Only 3% of child rapists are convicted. And convictions could go down further, because now the rapists will kill their victims, because of a fear of spending life in prison or getting the death penalty.

Sensational laws are less important than overhauling the justice system, improving the investigation skills of policemen, increasing police budgets, cleaning the police force of political interference, and ridding it of corruption. I have written about all that here.

Rather than these draconian laws, what will work better are plans to improve forensic facilities, in states like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Forensic experts are demanding that dna be used to convict offenders. But these are still plans. We can only hope that these plans are translated into reality soon. About the other reforms (including social reforms), they still remain a pipe dream.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. aviottjohn says:

    Thanks for your posts on controversial and difficult topics. On the subject of rape, the biggest positive change will only come with cultural shifts in society that include raising the status of women in all sections of society


    1. Nita says:

      Yes, social reform is the answer. But it is a slow process.


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