Legitimacy Of Legal Public Hanging

The general opinion of the masses supporting public hangings believes in the deterrent theory of crime.

Legitimacy Of Legal Public Hanging

On Thursday a Senate panel passed a bill by majority vote for publicly hanging rapists. The bill was proposed by a senator who belongs to a right-wing religious party. However, some members categorically opposed the bill. Besides, the question of legislation during the caretaker government without the public mandate must be addressed. Likewise, for a law to be lawful is an essential attribute of legislation in a democracy. Once again, the debate on the motives of the passed bill has been started.  

The general opinion of the masses supporting public hangings believes in the deterrent theory of crime; they believe that the fear factor could be a significant incentive to deter crime in society. The Jurisprudential thought behind the deterrent theory is debatable; it is either utilitarian or the theory of the ethical philosophy of deontology in nature. Furthermore, Cesare Beccaria Italian criminologist known as the father of deterrent theory believed that “the purpose of punishment is to deter the offender” 

Both modes of punishment, private hanging and public hanging, are most likely to be supported and criticised in TOTO. The punishment of the death sentence has existed from time immemorial. This refers to the age when human beings were following customary laws. The study of both the countries where the death sentence is still enacted with their domestic laws, or the law has been abolished shows that the effect of deterrent theory has no relevancy in terms of counter crime rate. Let us take an example; 

Along with the other European countries, Norway is the most lenient country in terms of punishment. The capital punishment was abolished in Norway in 1979. According to the statistics of World Bank-World Development Indicators of 2021, in Norway, the rate of intentional homicides per 100,000 population is 0.5 while in India it is 3.3 per 100,000 population. It should be noted that the capital punishment of death sentence is a part of the Indian domestic laws.  

The psychological consequences of the death penalty, whether it is public hanging or private, are worse for children and adults. The Canadian clinical psychologist, Dr. Robert T Muller, in his research writes that there are adverse outcomes of capital punishment for both families of victims and accused. It can massively impact on the mental health of children. 

Along with it, these children may result in tomorrow’s violent society. As they are being brought up by having a look at public hangings, it will immunize them to violence; they will not hesitate to commit any crime in the future. It is because they were exposed to the extreme act of public hanging in their childhood. Moreover, there would be a few children who can never fight off their post-traumatic stress disorder. They would not be expected to handle their daily life chores 

The criminal justice system gives us the fundamental concept of recidivism which means a criminal relapse into criminal behaviour after being sanctioned for his previously committed crime. In this scenario, the example of habitual offenders is an ideal. If the objective is to stop crime, then crime is supposed to be accountable to the criminal. 

Accountability of crime is as important as accountability of criminals. Are criminals made or born? This question may lead to the social reasons behind the crime. French sociologist Emile Durkheim says, “Social facts must have social explanations.”  

There is a famous Latin maxim ‘Ubi jus ibi remedium’ which says, “When there is a wrong, there is a remedy” but it should be considered that the protection of rights doesn’t mean infringing other’s rights. The right of dignity cannot be violated in any circumstance. As, article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” The concept of public hanging violates the right to dignity. The right to dignity is a fundamental right of any person. 

Conclusively, the theory of desistance describes the process of criminals abstaining from committing crimes. The reformative and rehabilitation-oriented framework for the criminal justice system is more beneficial for society. In the same way, with criminals, the crime must be treated well; the treatment of crime is to treat criminals in a better way. Enhancement of research about the behavior of criminals and motivational factors behind the crime would help in reducing crime in society. Additionally, it can prevent the rise of recidivism.