Death Penalty Current Affairs
Malaysia’s Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to abolish death penalty for all crimes and halt pending executions. This decision was taken in pursuance of strong domestic opposition to colonial practice for being barbarous and unimaginably cruel which has put terrible stain on the country’s human rights record. It is also in line with move away from capital punishment in the rest of the world.
Currently capital punishment in Malaysia is mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms, treason and drug trafficking, among other crimes. The death penalty in Malaysia is exclusively carried out by hanging and has been legacy of British colonial rule. More than 1200 people are on death row in Malaysia.
At present, the sentence of death penalty has been abolished in 103 countries, while penalty of capital punishment is still in 56 countries. There are still provisions for capital punishment in countries like China, India, America, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan and Sri Lanka. United Nations General Assembly passed the resolution in 62nd session in 2007 to impose universal restrictions on the death penalty.
Tags: Capital Punishment • Capital punishment by country • Capital punishment for drug trafficking • Crime • Death Penalty • Hanging • Human behavior • International • Law • Malaysia • Penology • Social policy
The 12 out of 14 states/UTs have replied to Home Ministry that capital punishment or death penalty should stay, as it serves to act as deterrent in cases of heinous crimes such as murder and rape. The Home Ministry had forwarded proposal to abolish death penalty to states/UTs based on recommendation of Law Commission of India (LCI). The states/UTs that vetoed abolition of capital punishment were Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. Only two states, Karnataka and Tripura, want practice to be done away with.
In 2013, the Supreme Court had asked Law Commission to examine whether death penalty is deterrent punishment or is retributive justice or serves an incapacitative goal. In its report in 2015, Law Commission, ten headed by Justice A P Shah, had proposed abolition of capital punishment for non-terrorism cases (i.e. it should be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism related offences and waging war). According to Law Commission’s Report, India is among handful of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq that still carry out executions. At end of 2014, 98 countries had abolished death penalty, 7 had abolished it for ordinary crimes, and 35 were abolitionists in practice, making 140 countries abolitionists in law or practice.