Indian rape debate: Why death penalty is no solution

Delhi lawyers protest as the rape suspects face charges. © Louis Dowse / Demotix

By Ananth Guruswamy, Director of Amnesty International in India

The tragic case of the 23-year old woman who was brutally attacked, raped and left for dead by six men in Delhi on 16 December 2012 has highlighted the unacceptable reality millions of women in India are facing. Violence against women is endemic – more than 220,000 cases of violent crimes against women were reported in 2011 according to official statistics, with the actual number likely to be much higher.

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Posted in Death Penalty, India, Sexual Violence, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

  1. mohamed Naseem says:

    The amount 220,000 is in a population more than2 billion people India’s over is a bigger problem I Have been to they always say India is heavy, even than United States

  2. Bernhard Hertlein says:

    I share the fury about the recent brutal gang rape of a young woman and the attack on her partner. The culprits should be punished severely. And there is no doubt that the trial can start early.

    Nevertheless I do not share the demand for a “short trial” – IF THAT MEANS THAT THE COURT WILL NOT FOLLOW THE RULES OF INDIAN LAW AND THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS. The world and especially South Asia need not a short trial with possibly the quick execution of the culprits but a total change of the paternal and chauvinistic society.

    In Bangladesh a few days ago another girl of 15 years was raped by four men near Tangail. Afterwards the culprits made photos of her naked body and made it public. For the victim the next catastrophe followed when the village people and even her father did not support them but distanced from her and her mother, too.

    In my view that proves again that the problem is bigger than a few criminals.

  3. ET says:

    I love Amnesty for helping those in need, but I disagree with this article completely.. I hope those sick animals get executed. They took an innocent woman’s life in the worst way possible.. why should they get to live?

    If execution is used against people who commit death, rape, or any other heinous crime, then I support it.

    • katelynn says:

      i totally agree with u i think they should die i mean that women might have been a mother,sister, or daughter why should the get away with it i send my regards to the womens family

      • Rao says:

        One wonders why the human rights activists and ‘intellctuals’ have more sympatny towards the CULPRITS rather than VICTIMS?. Justice K L Gauba of Punjab and Haryana HIgh Court has given a good point. In a case where he had to pronounce death sentence on a young man accused of killing his own baby daugther by slamming her head against a wall, because the baby was crying when this Man was having lunch ! Justice Gauba said (not verbatim) but I am quoting from memory -Here is a person who did not flinch from killing his own baby daughter for a trivial reason that she cried when he was eating lunch. Such a person is a potential threat to the safety of society , hence I order his destruction in the interest of the world’. People who are convicted to death are not saints or paragons of virtue, They are the people who deliberately killed another human being. Why raise a voice on their behalf. Uncaring for the feelings of victims and their families is sheer perversity at worlst and gross disrespect to them and also misplaced sympathy. May wiser counsel prevail.

  4. Jignya Patel says:

    I believe the punishment for murder in India is a “death penalty”—If this is the law, than YES those inhumane guys did cause body harm to an extent that caused death……it’s an “attempted murder” that caused death=Murder! …so YES they deserve the death penalty………..BUT I agree that this should not be treated as a single case, but the Indian law needs to be followed, and these laws need to be applied to all other cases (granted different cases have different charges)……India law needs to be refined and more importantly “followed!” and YES many things need to change, from Indian police force to support systems to the social culture!………….these are sad cases, they deserve justice……..this is not fair.

  5. Michael Correll nephew of Bashir Mallal LL.D says:

    With even Delhi lawyers being swept up in the hysteria it seems unlikely the accused will receive their ICCPR Article XIV fair trial, especially too as the accused are poor and will not be able to afford the high quality representation which a capital offence charge such as murder deserves.

    I dispute the murder charge as the victim was alive in hospital and only died when moved by the Indian gov. on a plane for a dangerous and possibly unnecessary flight to Singapore.

    I myself have recently been discharged from hospital and believe that this is the best place to be when ill and not on an aeroplane.

    In fact I allege the Indian gov. deliberately put the victim on the plane to die so that the accused could be charged with murder and hung to appease the mobs howling with blood-lust thus distracting the mob from the Indian gov’s own long-standing inaction.

    The politicians are of course only interested in appeasing the mob to ensure their own re-election.

  6. Gangdhi says:

    Whrer is my comment.

    It is not a question of death penalty. While hundreds of thousands of rape cases against are awaiting this one has been fast tracked. The reason a high caste woman has been pack raped by low caste women. I do not support sex withot consent.
    Laws will be passed to castrate men but in practice it will be the low caste men in slums who will be subject to these laws.
    Last year in the state of Hariyana a 16 year old girl was pack raped by high caste men photos taken ad shared with other high caste men. The girls father commited suicide. In Indian occupied Kashmir raping of women by Indian occupying forces are a daly ovccurence.

    Where are the High caste Indian protesters?

    Please leve this comment in the name of victims of Indian caste sysytem.

  7. Stephanie M says:

    I really hope they did not arrest innoncent people just to appease the mob…

    They should have a fair trial but be severly punished. Nothing could be hard enough to punish these monsters. It is not the place of the society to establish revenge but right now all they deserve is to be locked up together in a cage for the rest of their lives like animals so they can see what it is like to be humiliated and deprived of dignity. I have no empathy for these people because they ruined lives but also because they make me question my own beliefs. I do believe in forgiveness and humanity, but in such cases, I would have no mercy for them… the same way they had no mercy for this innoncent girl and her boyfriend.

    Also, what can we do to help the family and the boyfriend? I wish I could do something… I live in Europe but I would like to demonstrate too although I’m not Indian. This is not an Indian problem only. Women are victims of rape and violence worlwide and everyone should stand up against such horrible acts. There’s no point demonstrating on Women’s Day and then remain passive when such tragic events happen…
    Public demonstrations in other countries like European countries could be an opportunity to show solidarity with the Indian people and women who are victims worldwide.

    “Be the change you want to see in the world” Gandhi said…

  8. Pamela CL says:

    I’m sick and tired of rapists getting by with only a slap on the wrist and less jail time. Rapists should serve life in prison, and also make rapists go to a temple to explain to divine beings on why they rape and hurt innocents and meditate very hard of their actions, I’m not sure if any rapists should be forgiven. You know in any prisons and jails other immates don’t like rapists nor molestors nor sex offenders.

  9. varun verma says:

    Indian rape debate: Why death penalty is no solution…..whoever commits rape should be hanged or not.does it ensures the rape would be stopped or would be lesser the rate of rape happening in india,the death penalty does not ensures this firstly and foremost there is severe need of assurance to be needed that there should be fast track decisions of the rape victims not the delay in justice and it is the victim,not the defendant is in trial in the case of rape- sir Matthew hale.There is urgent need of police reforms are needed and not the moral policing-as there is no relation of the women’s clothes which she is wearing in anyway but the intention of the person to do heinous crime.In my opinion what is need to be the implementation of the existing laws more efficiently and to make them more stronger for protection of women other than death penalty for rape-what can be done where the rapists live there can be put a hoarding that here lives the offender even after completion of the sentence of the rapists-social stigma would be arises which can put a stop for commiting such a heinous act.

  10. varun verma says:

    Indian rape debate: Why death penalty is no solution…..whoever commits rape should be hanged or not.does it ensures the rape would be stopped or would be lesser the rate of rape happening in india,the death penalty does not ensures this firstly and foremost there is severe need of assurance to be needed that there should be fast track decisions of the rape victims not the delay in justice and it is the victim,not the defendant is in trial in the case of rape- sir Matthew hale.There is urgent need of police reforms are needed and not the moral policing-as there is no relation of the women’s clothes which she is wearing in anyway but the intention of the person to do heinous crime.In my opinion what is need to be the implementation of the existing laws more efficiently and to make them more stronger for protection of women other than death penalty for rape-what can be done where the rapists live there can be put a hoarding that here lives the offender even after completion of the sentence of the rapists-social stigma would be arises which can put a stop for committing such a heinous act.

  11. Michael Correll says:

    Yahoo Philippines is carrying a story about why move the alleged rape victim?

    http://ph.news.yahoo.com/india-questions-over-decision-treat-delhi-rape-victim-052753352.html

    One of the previous writers mentions that this is a rape of a high caste woman by low caste men and that rape of low caste women by high caste men is common.

    I have read on the web about violence against low caste members by high caste members and this appears to be a fact of life in India. Jim Crow is alive and well in India.

    Caste discrimination is one reason why Indians convert to Islam, Buddhism and Christianity etc.

    Skin colour discrimination is a part of this too.

    Sonia Gandhi is Italian and has nice pale skin. The alleged rape victim also has pale skin I think.

  12. Michael Correll says:

    Yes I’m convinced that the real reason for the uproar is because low caste men with brown skin like myself had sex with a high caste female with fair skin. This is taboo in India.

    Has high caste men raped a low caste female it would be business as usual.

  13. Michael Correll says:

    Let us postulate four scenarios -

    1. High caste man rapes high caste woman.
    2. High caste man rapes low caste woman.
    3. Low caste man rapes low caste woman.
    4. Low caste man rapes high caste woman.

    It appears that 1-3 is ok in India and police will not act.
    4 is taboo and will cause rioting in the streets.
    But I’m no expert on India, just have Indian blood.

    I apologize that rape does not appear to be an equal opportunity activity.

  14. We stop strongly against this brutal phenomenon and demand from the Indian authorities to make an end to this vicious phenomenon

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