Just a quick one in reference to the news of politicians, media and public promising and calling for the hanging of the people found guilty of the rape and murder of the lady in Delhi last year. That sentence looks like more or less a foregone conclusion.
It is easy to call for clemency for people who may have suffered miscarriages of justice, who may not be guilty, or whose cases have mitigating circumstances.
A common criticism of those opposed to the death penalty is that we are quick to speak out against the sentence when it is applied in the US, but reluctant to do so when it occurs in China, the UAE, Egypt, Iran, etc.
These people are guilty as sin – I don’t believe we have any reason to doubt that. Their crime was horrible, inexcusable and ‘unforgivable’. They still should not receive the death penalty.
I am not going to use this post to go into the arguments against execution, purely to point out that if the death penalty is wrong, it is wrong here too, and just as disgusting as it ever is. There are no shades of grey.
Moreover, how much stronger would it make our point if we were to come together and speak out in cases (especially high-profile ones) like this? It would not necessarily strengthen the movement to abolish the death penalty, but for many of us it would make our morality entirely explicit.