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Is the death penalty a solution?

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A just society is one in which citizens fully comprehend the result of committing an offence; in which citizens know that if they break the law they will be apprehended and punished. Yet crime happens.

In a place like Pakistan where committing an offence is almost unavoidable and it is easy to avoid apprehension and punishment, crime is rampant. Here not only do real offenders escape being caught and punished, those who do get caught and punished are often innocent.

Fraud and forgery are strong industries in Pakistan, and bribery and misrepresentation a daily occurrence in almost everyone’s life. Fake documents (think driver’s licenses, for example) are nearly more common than genuine. An AFP report says that the system in Pakistan allows people with money or power to rise above the law. And that is scary. One of the basic tenets of the law is that no one should be above it. When segments of society are above the law, law enforcement and justice cannot function. In this scenario innocents suffer and criminals live the good life.

Following the recent dreadful case of the rape of the lady on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway– and in front of her small children, the country has seen strident calls for the rapists to be apprehended and punished as they definitely should be. What is debatable is whether capital punishment should apply. And what is very difficult to understand is the clamour in support of a public hanging and castration. Even the PM has added his voice, for what it’s worth, in support of the call for public hanging or chemical castration.

Whether or not capital punishment is effective is a moot point, and not under........

© Pakistan Today

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