Letter to the Editor – “Death for Rapists and Thou Shalt not Kill”


Ref. 24th April 2018 article "Death for Rapists and Thou Shalt not Kill", the argument in the Statesman report that in most child sexual assault cases the offences are committed by people known to the victims or those within the family and therefore death penalty can turn out to be a deterrent from filing complaints and lead to hushing up the crimes,  tilts the scale in favour of rapists as it assures them of a new lease of life and offers scope for repetition of the crime. Does it mean just because most of the rapes are committed by members of friends or family circle, the rate of reporting would go up if there were no Death Penalty for committing rape? Does it mean the girl or woman who has been raped by her own kith and kin, would have the same love and compassion for the rapist just because he happens to be from her relatives or friends circle? Or the punishment should be less just because the rapist is the hapless victim's father, uncle, relative or friend?  Or just because the "NO" of the victim was not emphatic enough which very surprisingly Supreme Court of India opined (it was as if the supreme court judges were present at the time of the rape and heard a faint "NO"!) as per the report?  In fact death penalty would act as a great deterrent to rape (as it is in the Gulf Countries), even if not implemented in some cases.  For this there should be more women judges to restore sanity in the society from the top judicial level.  An easier option deliberately overlooked by the Government to score brownie points, would have been the middle path,  which is Medical Surgery (castration) of the rapist as recommended by Dr Subranian Swamy of BJP.  In that case both Biblical spirit of life and "correcting the wrong-doer" for life (as propounded by Dr Kottoor) can be maintained. 

Today only the national news channels reported on a Class XI student gang-raped in moving car in Greater Noida. She had missed the school bus while returning home, was offered car drop home by her distant uncle and a youth.  Reportedly the rapists included the girl's classmate.  The girl, a student of Class XI of a Greater Noida school, is believed to have told police that she was walking home around 2.30pm when the trio came in a car and offered to drop her home in Kasna area. But they allegedly took turns to rape her inside the car and roamed the city for the entire day before dumping her near Knowledge Park area around 1.00 am.

The girl has got her statement recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.

“One of them was a distant relative who had come from Palwal while another was her classmate. Since she knew the boys, she decided to accompany them in the car. But they allegedly held her captive and forced themselves upon her one by one,” Greater Noida station officer Ram Bhawan Singh said. 

What is solution does the Statesman or Dr Kottoor offer for the Delhi incident? In this case it would be appropriate to read India Today report 13-year-old girl kills self after father rapes her (the link is given on top of the page).

The recommendation in the Statesman report that Strengthening of the investigation process and prosecution so that perpetrators are convicted expeditiously is in most cases very difficult, when the accused happen to be from the ruling party or rich/powerful family (as happened in the case of U.P. MLA Kuldeep Sengar who was booked not by the government, but only when the Allhabad High Court passed an arrest order. Even now he has not been barred from the U.P. Legislature.  A law-breaker who is in jail, still continues to be a law-maker! Is this what is meant by "Make in India"?

If there is no death penalty or castration, then the jails would be infested with vermins (rapists) who have to be well-fed and cared for ("correcting the wrong-doer" as propagated by Dr Kottoor) at the tax-payers' money, rekindling 24×7 in the minds of the victims the nightmarish memory that the rapists are still alive and undergoing the so-called reform only to repeat the crime once they are released! In all fairness it should be left to the victim to suggest to the court what  punishment she wants to be meted out to the perpetrator of the rape, for it is only the wearer who knows where the shoe pinches/hurts.

Also there should be no juvenile age specific treatment (as happened in the case of Nirbhaya) of rapists.  To call a spade a spade, a rapist is a rapist. The act does not merit a preferential treatment just because the rapist is under 18 years of age.  If an 18-year-old boy fathers a child, would it mean he is not a father because he is under-age?  This is downright ridiculous!

Dr Kottoor's claim that Death Penalty has been abolished in the United States of America is partially correct.  A fact check reveals that  death penalty is legal in 31 states and illegal in 19 states (and DC). The "legal" and "illegal" designations in the "Death Penalty Status" column are based on the US Department of Justice's "Capital Punishment" reports.

(CNN) Here's a look at the death penalty in the United States. Facts: As of August 2017, capital punishment is legal in 31 US states.


31 states in the USA have the death penalty

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming.

In Texas death chamber in Huntsville, is where death row inmates are executed by lethal injection.

19 States and DC have abolished the death penalty

Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin

For full details on this, please refer to the website (last updated 28 March 2018) below:



Isaac Gomes


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