Group Discussion on Capital punishment

Capital punishment is a practice whereby person committing a capital crime is put to death by the state.

We are covering this topic of Group Discussion on Capital Punishment from all angles, providing you with meaningful quotes, statistics, pros and cons of capital punishment and possible GD topics that you can expect for this pressing concern in criminal law and civil liberties.

Let's explore how different governments and organizations feel about whether capital punishment is the right step for those that commit heinous crimes like rape, terrorism and murder and the origins of this practice in criminal law as well.

Facts About Capital Punishment

  • Capital punishment is also known as death penalty.
  • Death penalty is carried out by the state whereby the person is put to death by the state a a means of being punished for a crime
  • Act of carrying out a death penalty is called execution and the court judgment for this is a death sentence
  • Capital punishment is death for capital offences such as murder, espionage, treason, crimes against humanity and mass genocide
  • The world capital is derived from the Latin word for head, referring to beheading as a form of execution
  • 56 countries retain capital punishment as a penalty for capital crimes.
  • 103 countries have abolished death penalty for all crimes while 6 have abolished it for ordinary crimes (with the exception of special cases such as war crimes)
  • 30 nations are abolitionist in practice

Ban on Capital Punishment

  • EU's Article 2 of its Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits the use of capital punishment/death penalty
  • Council of Europe with 47 member states prohibits the use of death penalty by members
  • UNGA has adopted several resolutions from 2007 to 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 calling for a worldwide ban on the death penalty.
  • Most nations have abolished capital punishment
  • However, over 60 percent of the world's population lives in nations where death penalty is allowed. India is one of them.

Some Quotes on Capital Punishment

Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty.
- Industrialist Henry Ford

I think capital punishment works great. Every killer you kill never kills again.
- Entertainment personality Bill Maher

Possible Group Discussion Topics on Capital Punishment:

1. Capital Punishment should be Banned
2. Capital Punishment - The only suitable punishment for rapists
3. Should Capital Punishment be Abolished?
4. Life Imprisonment is a good alternative to Capital Punishment
5. Capital Punishment in India should be Banned or Allowed?
6. Should India Abolish the Death Penalty?
7. Should Mentally Deficient People be exempt from Capital Punishment?
8. Terrorists Deserve Capital Punishment: Yes or No?
9. Should Terrorists Be Barred From Presenting Mercy Petitions?
10. Death Penalty: Punishment, Deterrent or Atonement?
11. Should non painful means of Capital Punishment be compulsory?
12. Should mercy killers be shown mercy?
13. Advantages and Disadvantages of Capital Punishment
14. Does Capital Punishment serve as a deterrent to would-be criminals?
15. Without Capital Punishment, our lives are less secure.
16. Death Penalty vs Life in Prison.
17. An Eye for an Eye Would Make the World Blind: Should Capital Punishment be Banned?

Executions in India: Incidence of Capital Punishment

  • The last capital punishment in India was in 2105, when Yakub Memon was convicted of financing the 93 terror attacks in Mumbai.
  • On February 8, 2013, Muhammad Afzal was convicted of plotting an attack in India's parliament in 2001.
  • In 2008, 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab carried out the Mumbai terror attack for which he was sentenced to death and hanged on November 21, 2012
  • Dhananjoy Chattterjee was hanged for the murder and rape of a 14 year old girl in 2004, this being India's first execution since 1995.

Exemptions from Capital Punishment in India

Those Below 18 at time of crime: As per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the crime cannot be executed.

Pregnant Women: A 2009 amendment to Indian law has declared that pregnant women sentenced to death must be granted clemency

Intellectually Disabled/Mentally Ill: For those who are mentally disabled or ill at the time of the act or cannot understand that the act was wrong because of mental illness cannot be held criminally liable as per the Indian Penal Code.

Pros: Advantages of Capital Punishment

  • For creating a law abiding society, capital punishment is a must. Death penalty creates a sense of fear among criminals.
  • Others may hesitate to commit the crime if terrorists and criminals are subjected to capital punishment
  • Criminals who escape from jail and commit worse crimes should be prevented from doing so through capital punishment
  • Repeat offenders and criminals will not respond to lesser punishments; they deserve the death penalty for their crimes

Cons: Disadvantages of Capital Punishment

  • Capital punishment encourages criminals and terrorists to be rebellious
  • Punishments will not stop crime as those who are criminally inclined will engage in heinous crimes any ways.
  • Capital punishment has been around for centuries and yet crime has not been abolished from human society.
  • An offence against minors or other vulnerable sections of society like women and elderly deserves a death penalty.

In the case of a rapist, terrorist or criminal, capital punishment is the only way to ensure that crime is not repeated or rewarded in the nation. For the safety of the wider population, repeat offenders and those committing capital crimes should definitely be put to death.

We hope this GD guide on Capital Punishment provides you deep insights into why criminals deserve capital punishment and the various angles to this topic for a debate.