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Thursday, 7 September, 2000, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Should the death penalty be abolished in South Asia?
Over half the countries in the world have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice, but it still remains in force in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. In Nepal it has been abolished.
Is it the ultimate deterrent to crime? Or is the risk of innocent men and women being executed too high a price?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Human rights have to be earned as they are no birthright. If one takes another human being's life then he should have no rights as a human being. Countries in South Asia have no resources to feed murderers at taxpayers' expense.
Although there is no death penalty in Nepal, life imprisonment is apt for the criminal. I think that the death penalty is a total misuse of power for those who are ruling a country. It should be abolished from South Asia.
K. Safavi, USA
The death penalty should be abolished all over the world. It is a clear violation of human rights and should not be accepted by any government, religion or institution.
The death penalty is the proper punishment for murderers, paedophiles, and rapists and should therefore never be abandoned. Crimes should be punished, locking people up is a crime in itself that doesn't solve anything
The death penalty should be abolished everywhere. It doesn't deter crime, and mistakes are made. Perhaps prisoners may be executed on request, but life shouldn't be taken from the prisoner without his or her consent.
The death sentence is the ultimate punishment - there is no going back, so what good is a pardon afterwards if new evidence comes to light, but the person has already been killed? It is time to wipe out this kind of punishment.
Vivien Housam, UK
Is the murder of an innocent person by the state a greater crime than the murder of a civilian by a murderer? I say as long as miscarriages of justice occur the death penalty cannot be an acceptable solution.
Bivas Chowdhury, India
The death penalty should be enforced, it sends a strong message to most of the people who commit crime. Prevention is better than a cure, tax payers' money should be used for nation building not maintaining criminals. The death penalty in most of cases acts as a deterrent to crime
India should look back into her past for the answer to this question. India is the birthplace of ahimsa, non-violence, and great men like the Mahatma M.K. Gandhi preached non-violence as a way of life. Let us pray that India's inept and corrupt politicians at least recognise the sanctity of life, even if they do not respect peoples' rights to have a good quality of life.
How can this be a question when it is clear that in Islamic Law the penalty is prescribed. For a true Muslim the death penalty is compulsory and prescribed by God? No Muslim is willing to question the authority of the Prophet Muhammad?
The death penalty is the ultimate penalty and I am all for it.
Keeping the enemy of a Nation and its people by taxing those very people makes no sense.
Patrick JM Nelson, England
I think that is a task that should be taken up the government and investigated thoroughly. People of the respective countries should be allowed to debate such an issue. You can bring up points against and for the death penalty, but I think life imprisonment is probably worse. Watching one's life go to waste is almost as painful if not more than not having to see the next day. Either is cruel, but as humans I believe society should agree on punishing with a lesser evil.
Reforms like the abolition of death penalty - a punishment faced by only a tiny minority in the country - come low in our list of priorities because we have so many other pressing problems to deal with such as providing food, clothing and shelter to the vast numbers of law-abiding citizens.
Dinesh Venkat, USA/India
I think hanging and Islamic punishments
like stoning etc. are very cruel and should be replaced by medium-term imprisonment or else lethal tablets or lethal injection which are much more humane methods of capital punishment.
Certain states in the USA still believe in capital punishment. Why only restrict this debate to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In fact statistics prove many more people die by capital punishment in the USA than the three concerned countries put together. I think capital punishment is a good thing PROVIDED the crime warrants it (i.e. rape/paedophilia) and there is absolute conclusive proof that the alleged criminal is the perpetrator.
The death penalty and prisons would be outdated in the future. Death only
releases you from further worries about existence and prisons just cost a
lot of money to operate. The future would include 10 lashes on the backside
and slave labour on a farm or a factory with daily educational courses in
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Few executions in Pakistan
15 Mar 00 | South Asia
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