The death penalty is degrading proof of man’s inhumanity to man. Look from all aspects to understand why such an idiotic thing has continued everywhere. In a few countries where it has been dropped, it has been replaced by life imprisonment which is worse than the death penalty itself. It is better to die in a single moment than to go on dying slowly for 50 or 60 years.
The first thing to remember is that the death penalty is not really a punishment. If you cannot give life as a reward, you cannot give death as a penalty. This is simple logic. If you cannot give life, what right have you got to take it.
Strangely, unless you are proved innocent, you are guilty. This goes against all humanitarian ideals, democracy, freedom and respect for individuality. The rule should be: unless you are proved guilty, you are innocent.
The death penalty is an eye for an eye. If a man is thought to have murdered somebody, then he should be murdered. But it is strange. If killing somebody is a crime, then how can you remove crime from society by committing the same crime again. There was one man murdered; now there are two men murdered. And it is not certain that this man murdered that man, because to prove a murder is not an easy thing.
If murder is wrong, then whether it is committed by the accused or by society and its court makes no difference. Killing is a crime. The death penalty is a crime committed by society against a single, helpless individual. The death penalty is revenge. Society is taking revenge because the man did not follow the rules of society; society is ready to kill him.
When somebody murders, it shows that man is mentally sick. Rather than sending him to prison or to be executed, he should be sent to a nursing home where he can be taken care of physically, psychologically and spiritually. He is sick. He needs compassion; there is no question of penalty and punishment.
Yes, it is true, one man is murdered; but we cannot do anything about it. By murdering this man do you think the other will come back to life? If that were possible, I would be all in support of this man being removed, he is not worth being part of the society and the other should be revived.
But that does not happen. The other is gone forever; there is no way to revive him. Yes, you can do one thing; you can kill this man, too. You are trying to wash blood with blood. Nobody needs or deserves the death penalty. In fact, not only the death penalty, no other kind of punishment is right, because punishment never cures the person.
Every day the number of criminals is growing and you build more prisons. This is strange. Just the opposite should be the case, because with so many courts, punishments and prisons, crimes and criminals should be less. Slowly, prisons and courts should be less. But that is not happening. Nobody is a criminal in his natural state. People need compassion to become compassionate, not imprisonment. All prisons should be transformed into mental nursing homes and schools.
Historically – that is since the Vedic periods – India had been a very large group of monarchies, ranging in size from very small to very large, such as the size of a present small village of population of 500 to the size of an Empire with a population of 10 million or more … in those days. The ruling kings were benevolent dictators – highly educated in and self-governed by Dharma (Ethics). The rules of succession were laid down so clearly, that there were hardly any conflicts on that account. Competence to deliver good and impartial justice internally and ability to ward off threats externally were considered most important characteristics needed for a monarch – in the process of selection and election.
While the kings enjoyed the privilege and prerogative of nominating their successors while still functioning as kings – it was not automatic for confirmation. The ministers had the right to question the choice and selection of the king – about the track record of the nominee prince or the heir-apparent. Only after due deliberations on the choice of the successor, the new prince was confirmed for the crowning ceremony. The popularity of the king’s nominee with the common people of the kingdom was also a major factor in determining the suitability of the heir-apparent prior to the confirmation as the crown prince. Even a small blemish in following the ethics or morals by the individual will permanently disqualify him for future kinghood. He was to function as de facto king (king in probation) – under the supervision of the actual king – for fairly long time to prove his mettle before getting the final confirmation as the king by the governing council of ministers. The retired king was never powerless; he held the veto power to disqualify the newly crowned king – if he becomes unpopular later by virtue of his conduct and bad governance. There was no incentive to indulge in corruption, while there were all rewards for good governance. Read the rest of this entry