From G Selvakumar
The decision to make the death penalty not mandatory is undoubtedly a progressive step in our criminal justice system. However, I am of the opinion that it should not be completely abolished.
There are ample examples here and all over the world of extreme criminals who have committed brutal murders that are shockingly merciless. The manner in which these murders were carried out numbs the mind.
The extreme criminal mind has no borders and does not conform to any framework within the criminal justice system where the rule of law is guided by moral and ethical values of natural justice.
Compassion and forgiveness are expected to be an integral part of a mature society but we must tread with utmost caution when dealing with these extreme criminals who have no qualms about killing.
Some even take great pride and joy in carrying out horrific assaults before taking the lives of their victims and innocent people around. Some were simply killed for just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Brutal criminals who walk among us in society do not fit in and are simply too dangerous for the system to handle. They can be merciless in the manner they cause death to their victims regardless of age and gender.
Their dark mind is not really understood by most people who are unable to comprehend the lurking beast within. Brutal crime shocks society when it happens but with time it is forgotten as such extreme crimes are uncommon, thus making people complacent until of course, it happens again.
These extreme criminals remain as dangerous in incarceration and in most cases have the ability to disguise their rehabilitation.
Therefore, the death penalty must be maintained for extreme criminal acts, especially brutal acts of murder and those who cause extreme mental anguish to their victims.
This discretion must be made available to the courts with the necessary checks and balances.
It would be prudent to extract experienced views from the investigative limbs in the criminal justice system, especially from serious crime investigators who have confronted brutal criminals and handled the initial trauma of victims and their families.
Women and children brutally murdered after being sexually assaulted, bodies cut up, and mass murders, among others, should be ventilated by these experienced investigators.
Public prosecutors who handled such brutal cases must also be considered to balance the investigators’ approach. Surviving victims, their families and loved ones who lost victims to such brutal criminals must also be heard.
Revenge alone is not the issue here. Closure, justice and fairness to all parties concerned must also be part of the equation.
G Selvakumar is a former police officer and an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.