20 September, 2018

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To Hang Or Not To Hang ?

By Saliya Pieris

Saliya Pieris

Saliya Pieris

The frenzied calls for the death penalty

The tragic death of five year old Seya has led to frenzied calls for the implementation of the death penalty in Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena himself weighed in on the question last week when he announced that he will place the question of the death penalty before Parliament. Social media has gone viral with online petitions and calls for the immediate restoration of executions , assuming that is the panacea for crime. One online petition subscribed to by several thousand probably educated and intelligent people , even called for the execution of child abusers without trial!

Such knee jerk reactions seeking to resume implementation of the death penalty are fraught with risks and dangers, the most serious of these dangers being the very real risk of innocent people being executed as a result of being victims to a flawed justice system.

Never abolished

The death penalty in Sri Lanka has never been abolished. Day in and day out the High Courts in different parts of the country impose death sentences on accused found guilty of capital crimes, chief among them the offence of Murder. Apart from Murder there are only a few other Penal Code offences attracting the death penalty. However there have been no charges brought under these sections for decades such charges being waging war against the State and fabricating false evidence leading to the execution of an innocent party. Abetment to suicide also attracts the death penalty although suicide attempted suicide is no longer an offence. Other than murder the crime which attracts the most number of death sentences in Sri Lanka is the possession or trafficking of over 2 grammes of heroin.

*Five year old Seya

Passing the death sentence

When a High Court Judge finds an accused guilty of a capital charge the accused is asked whether he has anything to say before the sentence of death is passed. Whatever the accused says is recorded and thereafter forwarded to the President. In one instance, in the High Court of Galle I prosecuted a man charged for the murder of six people at Yakkalamulla. The jury found him guilty. When he was asked what he had to say (in legal parlance this is caused allocutus) he jumped out of the dock and came upto the jury and told them “Umbalawa Maranawa (I will kill you). In another incident in Negombo a family of three were found guilty of murder upon the evidence of a witness who was pregnant when she gave evidence. The third accused who was the father of the other two accused, cursed the woman and the child in her womb saying that the she had given false evidence.

After allocutus the lights and fans of the Court house are switched off and the court crier cries out for all to rise as the court is to pass death sentence. The High Court Judge reads the sentence ordering the accused to be taken to the Welikada Prison and within the four walls of the prison that on a day and time appointed by the President that he hangs by the neck until he is dead. In the olden days the judge will before passing sentence wear a black cap and after sentence break the nib of his pen to signify the unpleasant task that he has done.

Even though everyone knows that the death sentence is not implemented nevertheless it is an unnerving experience for all. Lady prosecutors, court staff and jurors sometimes break into tears, members of the families of the convicts weep and mourn. Some High Court Judges hate to pass the death sentence. The court house for a few minutes turns into a virtual funeral house until the accused are taken away.

The appeals process

The accused is thereafter placed on the death row of the prison. However in almost all instances accused , do appeal to the Court of Appeal and thereon to the Supreme Court, if the appeal fails in the Court of Appeal.

The death warrant

Once the appeals are exhausted, it is the President who will have to sign the death warrant appointing the time and place of execution. The Constitution lays down that before the President places his signature , he is required to call for reports from the Attorney General and the Trial Judge which are thereafter submitted to the Minister of Justice who in turn submits them to the President with his advice whether or not the execution should be carried out. Then armed with the advice of the Minister of Justice the President must decide whether he should implement the execution or decide to commute the sentence to a lesser period which may be life imprisonment or less.

Since 1976 no President of Sri Lanka has signed the death warrant, the last one to sign a death warrant being President William Gopallawa. Generally the sentences are commuted to life imprisonment and then further reduced.

In one sensational murder case known as the Vicarage murder involving double murder Fr. Mathew Peiris came out of prison in 1998 after about 15 years, and died shortly afterwards a free man. In recent times there has been no commutation of sentence, but no implementation either keeping the death row prisoners in a state of limbo.

The deterrence argument

The biggest argument of the howling mob calling for the restoration of the death penalty is that it will be a deterrent to crime. No where has it been proven that imposing the death penalty reduces crime or deters accused. Some may argue that a country like Singapore has minimum crime because of capital punishment. However it is more likely that the general discipline that Singapore has instilled in its society coupled with a well oiled law and order mechanism and an effective justice system has led to there being lesser crime. In the United States death penalty has not reduced crime. Criminals often commit crime without considering the risks, whether it be execution or a life time in jail it does not matter to most of them.

The arguments against the death penalty

Despite some inbuilt safeguards such as the appeals process and the recommendations being called from the trial judge, prosecutor and Minister of Justice, nevertheless there is always a real danger of an innocent man being executed. Not only in Sri Lanka but anywhere in the world.

Firstly from a purely moral and ethical point of view there is the argument that execution is immoral and the State should not take away human life. Many countries in the civilsed world have moved away from the death penalty. Throughout Europe and in Australia the death penalty has been done away with. In most parts of the United States executions have either been abolished or moratoriums have been imposed. Even in India executions are very few and far between. Of course China, Iran, Saudi Arabia vie with each other to top the scores in executions.

From a human rights point of view the death penalty is frowned upon . The second optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights calls for the abolition of the death penalty, as does the European Union.

One strong argument is that death penalty amounts to cruel and inhuman punishment found in Article 11 of our Constitution. Article 11 is one of two articles of fundamental rights over which no limits or restrictions are placed. No one in his right mind can claim that executing another human being is not inhuman or cruel. In the United States, there have been successful arguments against the mode of execution, on the basis that the prisoner suffers immensely before dying and that alone amounts to cruel treatment. As such in some States such as California although the death penalty remains on the books, executions have been stalled as a result of the inability to find the right method of execution.

Killing the innocent

The most important argument against restoration of the death penalty is that there is a high risk of innocent persons being convicted. Innocent persons can be implicated for several reasons. In Sri Lanka witnesses are notorious for giving false evidence and for embellishing their evidence. When the perpetrator is one member of the family witnesses especially those partial witnesses tend to implicate other members of the family too. Prosecutors know that these are not rare occurences. Added to that the Sri Lanka Police is woefully incompetent at investigating crime apart from certain specialised units such as the CID and CCD. The use of scientific methods such as DNA and fingerprinting are rare and far between. Sri Lanka simply does not have resources to use scientific techniques.

Police almost never investigate the defence version in order to verify what the accused and his witnesses may be saying. Police in very many instances do not even bother with recording the statements of the defence.

Adding to this are the numerous allegations against the police for falsely implicating persons in crime. Corruption within the police force add to both false implications and failure to investigate the defence.

Many are the stories of police falsely implicating people on drugs and offensive weapons charges. There have been instances of police foisting drugs or bombs on innocent people. Judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers know these do happen. Apparently there are sometimes spare bombs and drugs available to use when needed. Unfortunately no independent investigations have been done in Sri Lanka against police fabrications where judges have expressed serious doubts on the truthfulness of the police versions.

There are yet again times when the witness is not lying but is mistaken and mistakenly implicates an innocent man. Human error may lead to this especially where identification is involved.

Cases of miscarriage of justice

One may argue that the trial and appeals process offers safeguards. Once the appeals process is exhausted there is no mechanism in Sri Lanka to review the cases where people have been wrongly convicted or where fresh evidence surfaces or doubts raised after many years. In the United States , Canda and the United Kingdom there have been several occasions where people wrongly convicted have been released from death row or prison decades later. In the US concerned people have established organisation to deal with cases of miscarriage of justice, such as the Arizona Project. In those countries in fit cases the courts have moved in or special mechanisms established by law and innocent people falsely convicted not only released but also compensated. We in Sri Lanka have no such safeguards.

Failures of the legal profession

There are many instances where the accused is not properly defended. Sometimes lawyers fail to take up the defences they ought to take. In one instance a woman had attacked her husband killed him and thrown his body into a latrine pit. However she did so when the man in a drunken state had attempted to rape their teenaged daughter. For some reason, her defence Attorney never raised the issue and she was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.

In the High Court if the client is unable to retain counsel, counsel are randomly assigned by the Court. Assigned counsel are often young and untrained and inexprerienced. They are paid five thousand rupees for the entire case. Some assigned counsel take up their cases with enthusiasm. Others do not. Accused not having means to retains counsel are depending on the luck of the draw. One senior criminal counsel who had defended a client as an assigned counsel told me he wished he had had more experience when defending the particular client. This man had been found guilty and executed.

The role of the prosecutors too are sometimes called into question. Some go for the jugular while others decide they have a superior duty in being fair. A retired judge of the Court of Appeal, one time a trial judge told me how he decided to convict a man on a drug charge carrying the death sentence, but on the night before the judgment pondered over the same and changed his mind. After acquitting the accused the prosecuting counsel had come to him and told him that it was a good thing that he acquitted because the police had confessed to him during the trial that their story was not true.

Judges

What of judges? Judges are not infallible. They make mistakes just as the rest of us do. They have to act on the evidence before them. Sometimes false evidence can be presented as true and even the sharpest judge may not see through false and fabricated evidence. He might not realise that the witness is mistaken.

Judges too have their own idiosyncracies and prejudices. Some judges give the accused a fair trial and realise his version may well be true. However there are other judges who believe that the police can do no wrong. They simply believe the prosecutor’s version. Some judges fail to offer the safeguards that a fair trial has to offer. They refuse to see that another point of view, another version may well exist. This is true in any part of the world.

Although not always so, the abilities of at least some judges and their impartiality are also sometimes called into question.

When it comes to the appeal process the same flaws may exist. However the judges in appeal do not have the same benefit that judges do at the trial stage. The same shortcomings that exists among trial judges may exist among appellate judges too. Fresh evidence is almost never allowed in appeal and mistakes of the defence can rarely be rectified.

Conclusion

When the irreversible consequences of the death penalty are considered one cannot but help think that it will be once again the oppressed and downtrodden who will have to face the consequences of ill considered decisions which are not rational or objective but done to appease the crowd. There will be innocent men and women who will have to pay with their life. The death penalty can never be equated to justice. After all the death of innocent men and women can never give justice to the victims of crime.

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Latest comments

  • 10
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    The very case that caused this outcry has demonstrated that Police and the prosecutors can make mistakes. Such mistakes can propagate down the track and even in a high profile case like this can send the innocent to the gallows. Therefore, however much a deterrent the capital punishment can be for crimes, when even that is not proven without a doubt, I do not think it is a good idea to impose capital punishment. It would probably is high time that the capital punishment is abolished.

    • 2
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      I think Germany and Japan are very strict with their laws in action. But they dont have HANGING culture. So, as i know very well, Germans bring those high criminals to proper rehablitation programmes so that they can become normal later.
      So we need a system of the mentioned kind to be introduced to lankens.
      But this means not that prevailing laws should stay in the same manner as have been them sofar.

      • 0
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        What ever the damn justice system we had during last 40 years or so did not reduce crimes, it’s increased by many folds, both in quantity & ashamed quality.
        This should change, not only Capital punishment but stringent laws are necessary, cases should not drag on for ages.

        It should be like what we did to Krishanthi Kumaraswamy rape & murder case, a Trial at Bar . It gave capital punishment to some 06 soldiers in a matter of few months.
        That should apply to all.

        • 0
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          What ever the damn justice system we had during last 40 years or so did not reduce crimes, it’s increased crimes by many folds, both in quantity & ashamed quality.
          This should change, not only Capital punishment but stringent laws are necessary, cases should not drag on for ages.

          It should be like what we did to Krishanthi Kumaraswamy rape & murder case, a Trial at Bar . It gave capital punishment to some 06 soldiers in a matter of few months.

          It should be taken in as a pilot case, & same should apply to all.

      • 2
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        I think this article is not about the strictness of the justice system. It’s about the flaws in delivery of justice that may send the innocent to gallows. Countries experience ups and downs of crime rates. No matter what you do with the justice system it can only bring crimes down to a certain level.
        The problem can be solved better through social reforms. Sadly many think that no matter what happens in their environment, building high walls and gates around your dwelling will keep them safe. No not at all. Once you are out there, as long as the origins of these crimes, such as addictions, mental illness, poverty etc. remain, you are always at risk.
        It is high time not to get too hang up with hanging the criminals, because at that point the damage is done, at least two lives have been destroyed. Rather we should be looking much closely at prevention. A good look at the underbelly of the society and their problems is a starting point.

    • 1
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      As it is the case in Germany or other countries where law is in action rigourouly.. the parents should also be accountable for the incident – not to have protected their own kids accordingly – why they let the child be alone at the time, the poor girl had been stolen away `?

    • 3
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      Saliya Pieris

      RE: To Hang Or Not To Hang ?

      Sometimes, you have to hang them. They are not needed. After all, they thought their victims were needed.

      Thre are a few Amarasiri would like to see hanged.

      1. Gotabaya Rajapaksa

      2. The Killers of Lasantha Wickramatunga

      3. The Killers of Thagudeen, Rugger Player.

      4. The Rapists and killers of 16 year old Science Student Vidya.

      5. The Rapist and killers of 5 year old Seya.

      Please add tour list of killers you would like hanged.

      Other you may send to the Gulag Archipelago to work for a living in the camp.

  • 1
    7

    Divine legislation supersedes all others forms of justice. Ideological systems work for three reasons. 1. Belief, 2. Application, and 3. Results. The Islamic Shariah fits all conditions to those who practice as it was prescribed. Never mind those who ignore.

    The Islamic Shariah filters all ideologies to it’s purest form within the Divine injunctions. Thus making the application practical and flexible to human wants and needs. This is a tried and tested method works well if applied as it was prescribed by the Noble Quran and the authentic Sunnah (way) of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)

    • 7
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      This is not a Muslim country mate. Keep your weird ideas to yourself.

      • 4
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        taraki

        “This is not a Muslim country mate. Keep your weird ideas to yourself.”

        This is not a Buddhist country either else we won’t be discussing judicial killing as if that is the only middle path to attain Nibbana.

        These kind of discussions can happen only in Sinhala/Buddhists country (ghetto) or by the way in Middle East Medieval Kingdoms, Hindia, USA ……… etc.

        Aren’t you interested in hanging, lynching, …… ? If you are please apply to Prison authorities.

    • 7
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      Maghribi

      “The Islamic Shariah fits all conditions to those who practice as it was prescribed. Never mind those who ignore. “

      Is the qadi (qāḍī, qaadi, qaadee, qazi, kazi, quazi, kadi or kadı)
      who pronounces judgement a Divine legislator? Most are illiterate, tribal, conditioned by their traditions, practising feudal customs, loyal to the local rulers, never understood the need to evolving globe, hung in the past, …..

      When did you last come out of your deep deep well?

    • 1
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      Can you clearly tell us as to what sharia law says about the crime of raping children and also raping women. You are not explicit and fee that all of us know what is the sharia law for rape

    • 0
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      Maghribi

      “Divine legislation supersedes all others forms of justice. Ideological systems work for three reasons.”

      [Edited out]

    • 0
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      To those who promote the “divine laws”, I have no problem as long as the God (Allah) is there to sit in as the judge for direct delivery of justice, not through the fallible humans like you.

  • 0
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    Hang or Hang,
    Let the pronouncement
    Be hanged if proven
    Beyond doubt, for
    “Social Rapists”!

    • 1
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      Correction Please.

      Hang or No Hang,
      Let the pronouncement
      Be hanged if proven
      Beyond doubt, for
      Against “Social Rapists”!

      Inadvertently Missed some words, Apologies

  • 1
    1

    Oh Maali Karu !!! You should not have put our Muslim brothers in a spot…. They good critics and for the side their hat turns.,

  • 1
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    Hang the entire MaRa family and his siblings, maybe with the exception of that older fellow Chamal.

  • 0
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    Concerning the child Seya – the three guys who are suspect…..Dna tests could have easily proved guilt/innocence very soon. These tests have been around for a very long time. Why hasn’t Sri Lanka set this up yet? Why is it that only circumstantial evidence is used against young men who have some sort of problems? Kondaya confessed did he? But he has mental problems, and cohering a confession from him would be very easy indeed (although that cannot rule him out either).

  • 1
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    Saliya, Thanks for your explanation.The most sensible article I have read of all .Yes we are very emotional as a nation and when emotions are overwhelming logic and reasoning take the back seat.
    In Seya’s case the accused individual had an awful track record criminal activity. Our safety mechanisms are so awful and poor we have let him scot free even after getting caught for similar offences previously.He has attempted to rape young kids and and has even tried to rape a dead body of a young female previously.
    Definitely he should have been at least behind bars after those offences and as you have rightly pointed out our judicial system is so flawed he had managed to escape and committ this heineious crime in a territory he was little known.There was no effective mechanisms like ” sex offenders registry” and he was not even asked by the police to inform his whereabouts on periodic basis..
    We should rectify these loop hole in our judiciary and law enforcement authorities and it is more important than bringing the death penalty I believe.
    In civilised societies there are mechanisms to protect civilians especially the vulnerables like children and women .We have failed to adopt them. Once some one get caught of this kind of offence the person should be under the radar always and if not ,invariably the crimes will be repeated with grave consequences like in this case.
    Tough laws and an authority to enforce them without interference is the only way forward and not necessarily bringing the death penalty.
    If death penalty is brought it should be for an exceptional circumstance like in Seya’s or Vidyas case when the evidence is explicit and also should be fool proof from political interference.
    However as a nation we have lot to change and part of it lies on educating the public about these hazards.I cannot believe Seya’s mother decided to sleep doors open when drug addicts lurk not far from her house.However much I feel sorry for them at the same time my heart doesn’t allow them get away from their responsibility of safe guarding their children.
    The mother preferred her undisturbed sleep over the safety of their children. Are there any place in this world you can fast asleep so comfortably knowing the doors are unlocked and your young kids are vulnerable in many ways .Sorry I have young kids and i think it is brutal lesson for all of us to take all the precautions we can.Though we cannot bring our kids wrapped up in cotton wools, at the same time this is 21 St century full of mentally warped individuals and you cannot miss that one chance where you regret for the rest of your life.

  • 1
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    need a law to hang except the west where there are human right champions.
    Remember how the masses reacted at the death penalty for Sukumaran and his mates.

  • 0
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    @TD – your point about Sharia law – that God himself should be the judge for justice to be guaranteed is excellent. Under Sharia as some one else has noted, it is the men, elderly, often not well educated and chauvinistic or patriarchal who sit in judgement, and not God. These people whatever title you given are mere humans and far from being divine and are fallible.
    I am sure that a correct reading of the Koran or the works of saintly sufis will reveal a different interpretation than that followed in the Muslim world today. Islam today is negatively influenced by the middle eastern crisis beginning with the aftermath of the first and second world wars. Islam of the middle ages is supposed to have been so mystic, humane, benign, humanistic, cultured (as we see from archaeology which is one aspect of culture) etc., unlike that of today – unfortunately. So our Muslim friends should not press for hanging. All religious teachers have spoken against taking life. Let us not take another’s life for whatever reason. Only God/Dhamma/Rti has that right!

  • 0
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    From our moral high horse, we are quick to condemn the Saudis or the ISIS etc. for publicly beheading people but we are no different if we allow hanging. They are both capital punishments, only the modus operandi are different.

  • 0
    0

    A very thoughtful opinion on the above subject
    Appreciate yours and Mrs. Savithiri Guna -sekara’s , identification on the deficiencies, of law and order, actors of the machinery and methodologies at president, many of which are Obsolete and archaic and had not synchronized with the 21st century norms and demands.
    On a philosophical angle of human rights, you don’t support /accept the decision to reintroduce of capital punishments, quoting Buddha.
    Times and formulas have changed the norms of governance, order, targets of peace, harmony and
    Lots of issues have to be reinvented and reengineered for good of many, for progress, and develop systems, methodologies to prevent disturbance and derailment of harmony of social order of society, family and individual.
    Hindu Dharma states in relation to social order as well as for individual evaluation of personality of sole , punishment, is also a form of compassion .No one can escape Karma .This was the crux and essence of MahaBaratha and essence of Bhagavatgita.
    Asian, Hindu, Buddhist ultimate objective is attainment of Peace. Any individual, a group of any kind, who works derailment of Dharma, must be dealt with uncompromising power, to reestablish Dharma and peace by rulers. This is the need in the present day world order.
    Human rights cannot be applied to criminals and pathologically derailed two legged beings.
    In the social pyramid, criminals of all sorts cannot be included, to the rest of the social pyramid. Low and Order apparatus is designed as part of machinery for governance, which had the objective of peace, for social order-lines for productivity, and evolution.
    Modern world social norms are different from that of olden days of 1000s of years back. Society has evolved. Methods have evolved. Olden days archaic obsolete norms methods have to be discarded.

    Punishment is a form of compassion to deter crimes and for the greater good of the community peace, progress and productivity. Singapore is the modern example of discipline, orderliness, fearlessness, happiness, contentment of, and for the people. This is compassion in action.
    Introduce sever hardest punishment for any crimes, who breach, social order etc including caning, whipping, in schools also to stifle juvenile criminals and to any level persons and in any institution. This will reduce crimes, at least by 80%, and reduce the work of the police, judiciary, to deter tendency of criminality and social disorder.
    In the social pyramid, only less than one tenth percent, of the population are the diehard criminals and offenders .Punish them severely. Preaching by do gooders and persons in garbs with misguided, ill informed unthinking, so called do gooders will not produce a disciplined, productive, efficient society.
    Though mind (for decision making) and Tender heart ( for good of many, nation, country)-Martin Luther King
    The social media doesn’t expose the criminals, offenders, by name, pictures, address so that the people, and society can be vigilant regarding the activities of those identified people. This is practiced/happens in Singapore

    Old Yarlpanathan 29/09/2015

    • 0
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      Old Yarlppanathan,

      According to Buddha, Karma comes about by impersonal, compulsory and prevailing forces of the universe that conscious existence emerged from. Conscious life-form stoking up Ego to implement Karma, will therefore go against the golden axiom in the fulfillment of Nirvana.

      Once human existence goes away from this golden axiom, as seen in the “21st century norms and demands,” greater Ego and Individualism of Mankind will create a self-perpetuating spiral of human regress that will lead towards annihilation.

      In Singapore, the fundamental tenet used for the function of its society is the illusion of money, which is in gross disregard of its wider associations/disassociations in greater society, and a global wholeness beyond Singapore’s shores.

      Islamic culture relies on a Greater Being to give greatest wisdom to make the final decree, while mankind continues to ramble along and implement its lower designs within its limited faculties of understanding and awareness. In case of misjudgment by humans, will their God give wings to any falsely condemned and hell-fire to false witnesses – tried and tested method of Sharia Law can never give conclusive results, because dead people don’t speak.

      Thus have both the Singapore system and the Islamic system taken on illusions, to fudge out a higher human thought-progression towards evolution of human intellect and soul.

  • 1
    0

    Old Yarlpanathan has made a case for punishment as an essential tool in managing an organised civilian society, where spirituality is only a small part of the the largely materialistic/mundane whole. Ramona Therese Fernando on the other hand is making a case for a society in which the principles of Buddhism are the governing principle, while ignoring the largely materialistic, mundane and profane nature of man and society as a whole.

    This is the contradiction that has blighting us as a nation. We have Budhhist monks, who receive much publicity, through their words and acts of violence. We tolerate them. We have politicians who exploiting our tolerance, do the worst and escape punishment. Ours is a society where petty crimes committed by the poor, influenceless and powerless are punished diligently, while those committed by the rich, powerful and those with influence, are tolerated.

    The religions we practice and the philosophies we believe in, should be directed towards minimizing crimes, and not tolerating or directly/indirectly encoraging crime. We now understand that criminality and temperament have a gebetic x environmental components. How do we address this issue in a free wheeling human society? Among domesticated animals, these traits are weeded out by selective breeding!

    Crimess of passion, poverty and hunger, need to be viewed with compassion and the root causes addressed. Premeditated murder and robbery, rape of all sorts, plunder of national wealth, hate crimes, bribery and corruption of all sorts , drug/narcotics peddling and deliberate acts of bad governance, have to be punished in a way that serves as a deterent. In this category, crimes commited against society and country as a whole,deserve the death penalty.

    No one wants to die. Death is not a release to the ordinary people, including criminals. Most of us fear death. The death penalty is the ultimate deterent aginst crime. I have seen cows in sluaghter houses shedding tears and when they get a chance to escape, giving it the best shot However, it should be meted after aexhaustive investications, justly. Errors are inevitable in most of wjhat we do as humans, however we have evolved methods to minimise these. The occasional error, does not justify the abolishment of the death penalty.

    Our police service, judicial serrvices and prison system need drastic reform. Our legal system, where highly paid lawyers can subvert justice, needs a major review. A good lawyer in our country is not one who serves justice. He/she achieves success mostly by subverting justice.

    The follwing article provides a good insight in to crime and punishment:

    http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_4_No_2_Special_Issue_January_2014/8.pdf

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
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      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

      What exactly is “organized civilian society?” What constitutes the “largely materialistic, mundane and profane nature of man and society as a whole?”

      For in organizing civilian society without awareness for the higher truths, the materialistic, mundane and profane nature of man and society manifests itself only too readily, self-perpetuating, and feeding itself on its continual selfishness.

      Isn’t it exactly what Buddha preached against, when he saw that Hindu scriptures had undergone deliberate misinterpretation, and so, strived to bring Hinduism back to its original purity?

      Most other cultures, and cultures based on religion, in inherent awareness, strive to adhere to the highest apex of the golden truth of egalitarianism for all.

      However, other cultures based on power-hunger, and power-hunger for elite-section of their society (e.g. Hindu culture in India), create the situation that mires mankind in slavery or a quasi –slavery.

      Hence is the reason for the aberrations of society, where even the genetic-X factor will be a non-factor at all, but one that will be channeled into beautiful and peaceful entity. Could it be that the genetic-X factor is a factoral bluff, or even misinterpretation, based on society’s need to maintain power status-quos?

      Society that is governed by those who prefer a temporal high on Egotism, will lead us to a miserable world on a fast track to annihilation.

      In Sri Lanka, the “contradiction that has blighted us as a nation,” is because Tamil culture overtook our simple and caring Sinhala Buddhist culture. For even after colonization, we were not allowed to progress. (Western culture has that similar sense of holding-hands, even if they are struggling to survive in this day and age, as they were struggling to survive in time of colonization, and thus destroyed many a good culture because they did not know the golden Philosophical Truth that our Buddhist people always knew.)

    • 0
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      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

      And furthermore you say “Among domesticated animals, these traits are weeded out by selective breeding.”

      Is the spectrum of human faculty then to be ordered, as with domestic animals? Indeed, in traditional times, animals to be domesticated that had unwanted tendencies were let out into wild to live out their natural tendencies.

      Are sub-groups of Elite humans meant to domesticate the masses into slavery/quasi-slavery to fulfill Elitist ambitions? Are the masses to be subject to selective breeding so only a certain kind of society can be allowed to exist?

      Selective breeding of humans is what caste-driven Hindu culture is all about. This is what the rest of the world is trying desperately to get away from, but finds it difficult with “selective breeding” concepts lurking about.

      Germans who were disgruntled with their society, instead of looking for other avenues to consolidate their society, were easily swayed by the Hindu caste-system. Thus was the emergence of the Nazi concept.

    • 0
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      Occasional error is ok? If it was you, your son or your grandson who is the subject of the occasional error, you will not say so

      • 0
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        The people who advocate hanging as a punishment are confusing it with revenge or a belief in the adage of “An eye for an eye”. Beside the taking of a life, hanging serves no purpose, not least as a deterrent, because criminals are not deterred in the states where it is profligerated. The “occasional error” may be acceptable to some, but to the familes involved, it is disastrous – to the victim’s, justice has not been served and to the hanged, an innocent relative has been killed.

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    Counsel Saliya Peiris has gone to the extent of portraying the gruesome process of sentencing, resulting in the outbursts of female officers including women. What about the very process of execution? Why are not the graphic details videoed and shown on TV which is more gruesome. In fact the recruited executioners have now vacated their post upon receiving training for the job. That itself shows even the men can’t stand the very process leave alone doing the actual act.

    We have gone to the extent of Internationally agreeing not to use corporal punishment. What about some Singapore style canning? If the deterrence of the punishment is a significant deterrent for crime, then like in the good old days we should administer some 12 strokes of the cane to the bare bottom like in Singapore for rape etc. Would that reduce some of the sexually motivated crime which is rampant now? Should not we recant our agreement to do away with corporal punishment and re-include that in our statute books, like we re-introduced the death penalty after the murder of MR. SWRD Bandaranaike?

    Despite the ferocity of the canning, statistics have shown that there have been an increase in the numbers caned in Singapore in some years. In other words an increase in the committal of offenses which are detected and punished. What must be done to reduce crime if that is our objective?

    The key is swift detection and trial without delays. Deterrent form of the punishment is secondary.

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    Saliya and all
    All what is in the article and in the comments above, is subjective.
    Say we live in an ideal world/society withal Judges, Prosecutors, defence lawyers, police/investigators and media doing nothing but absolute correct acts knowing the absolute ‘TRUTH”.
    With your moral and emotional sense, could you justify take away any living creatures life for any grave crime, for which any penal code, spells capital punishment.
    How did anybody decide the killing/ legal murder is the punishment and then look for remedies for miscarriage if Justice.
    Aren’t you all that much civilized?

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