What Matters More: Freedom or Life?

hang the rapists Earlier this month four of the six men convicted in the gang-rape and murder of a college student on a bus in Delhi were given the death penalty.

Though everyone in India and outside has wanted to see justice done in this highly publicized case, the issue of the death penalty has become a contentious one.  I find it interesting, that the stand against death-penalty is viewed of as a “liberal” one, and the one for it, as “conservative” and even socially “regressive.”

But what strikes me in both cases, is the assumption that when we as a human society are trying to decide how we will define our social, criminal and legal boundaries, everyone whether they are pro or anti the death penalty, is thinking of the best way to deal with the ‘criminal in the box.’  Somewhere in our heads, it does not strike us, that, that could be us in the ‘box.’  And if it were, what option would we choose for ourselves?  Would the answer be that black and white then?  What price would you be more willing to pay: your freedom or your life?  I explore this idea in this article I wrote for Youth Ki Awaaz:  What prison Sentence Would you Choose for yourself: Death or Life-long Imprisonment? 

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Ms. Banerji

    If one is good enough to choose penalty for one’s own crime, He will not do such a horrible crime. I think what we should discuss is what is the situation of the victim and try to do justification with her. And yes we may try to understand the mind situation of criminal which may help us to remove the causes for development of such mindset.


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