Image Source: NACDL
Do we really deserve to demand a state-sanctioned murder? Because that is what capital punishment is!
Nepal was amongst the earliest countries in South Asia to abolish the death penalty, in 1990 to be exact, which was remarkable because at that time Nepal realized that fear of punishment, however, has it may be, cannot make a criminal think rationally and morally when impulse takes over.
Besides being an absolute human right violation, there is no credible evidence and/or statistics to suggest that capital punishment reduces crime rates effectively than any other punishment. The motive behind any punishment should not be instilling fear, rather help the perpetrators realize their doings and, through rehabilitation, change. In fact, if there is anything that might determine the rate of heinous crimes, it is the certainty of punishment rather than severity.
Furthermore, the Nepali judicial system is far too weak for people in power to use the death penalty provision in its proper sense. It already makes a mockery of the law and can barely provide justice. If the death penalty is reintroduced in our country, people will only be misused by people in power to clear obstacles from their path and abandon those who don't have the means to get good legal representation. So because of such a lacking in our Judiciary system, the citizens who stand for the death penalty choose it as a last resort. How sad is that?
The prevailing constitution of Nepal of 2015, under Article 16 has guaranteed that all Nepali citizens have the right to live with dignity and has also prohibited any law to be made that prescribes Capital punishment. Nepal is also a signatory of The United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which insures people’s civil and political rights; of which one of the protocols is the abolition of the death penalty. So rather than opting for inhumane capital punishment, more focus must be given to the proper implementation of existing laws, strengthening investigation, and upholding swift justice.
While it is of utmost importance that the perpetrators of heinous crimes be given a punishment that matches the gravity of the offense, deep down inside we all know how outdated, obsolete, cold and barbaric capital punishment is and that it should be considered a system of violence and not a solution to it.
It would be a regressive step, a step back for the criminal justice system of Nepal that now operates on the principle of reformative approaches such as the ICCPR. Therefore, I stand against the reinstation of Capital Punishment in my country.
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