An Indian court sentenced four men to death Friday for the rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi, an attack that appalled the South Asian nation.

Announcing the sentence, Judge Yogesh Khanna said the crime "shocked the collective conscience" of India and fell into the "rarest of rare category" that deserves capital punishment.

"In these times when crimes against women are on the rise, the court cannot turn a blind eye to this gruesome act," he said.

One of the convicted men, Vinay Sharma, broke down in tears and cried loudly as the judge spoke.
Prosecutors had asked for the death penalty for the men, citing the "extreme brutality" of the attack,
which took place on a moving bus in December. They had also argued the court needed to send a message to Indian society with its judgment.

(read the rest of the article here)

Is the death sentence appropriate in this case? Anyone who's normally against capital punishment ready to make an exception for cases like this?

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In solitary confinement, there remains the possibility of escape. It happens. 

Felon David Puckett managed to escape from solitary confinement at a maximum security prison in Beaumont, Texas.

A corpse can't escape.

Colorado has the sentence "life without possibility of parole."  In other words, "life, and we mean LIFE dammit."

Why give them hope? Hope of escaping. Hope of appeals.

I am not necessarily advocating it, I just wanted to point out that there are systems that don't let lifers out on parole.

To add to your point, the guy can be pardoned.  People are boiling mad in Colorado because the governor granted some sort of delay of execution to somebody or other who was on death row.  (I'd be more specific but I am feeling really lazy ATM).

Okay, I know what ATM means in banking and porn, but I think you have a third meaning in mind.

At The Moment

Hah.  I knew what it meant in banking, but not in porn.  (Strega knew what I meant.)

What is the purpose of punishment?  Is it a corrective mechanism, a deterrent, or a form of revenge?

If it is a life sentence, then it cannot be corrective, and only deterrent and revenge apply.  I don't believe revenge ever solves anything - oh sure, it can make victims feel better - or can it?  Would it not make victims feel better, or safer, if the perpetrator could never harm them again? 

As far as I can see, swift elimination, by death penalty, rids our society of these perpetrators that cannot live safely in it, and is a whole lot cheaper than maintaining a 25 year solitary confinement structure.  So from a common sense perspective, a swift execution removes the problem, and serves as a deterrent at the same time.  If the perpetrators believe they will be 'judged' by some superpower after death or not, who cares? 

Incarceration is there for rehabilitation. This is why we name the department that governs the system "Corrections." Thus, life without parole is a perversion of the system. What is the point of correcting someone if they will never be allowed in society again? As a deterrent, there can be little doubt that death deters better than life imprisonment. You can at least theoretically escape from prison, Once dead, there is no escape. 

Revenge is worthwhile as a palliative for the survivors and for the injured. In that sense, it is true justice. An eye for an eye is more satisfying than "let's forget the victims and help the offender." A trial shouldn't be about what's good for the offender, but what satisfies, especially those who were injured and those who survive.

Incarceration is also available for punishment, as I just explained: death by incarceration.

We imprison people AS punishment, not FOR punishment. 

"Department of Corrections" does sound a bit more catchy than "Department of Jails, Prisons and Execution Chambers", the latter of which isn't providing any correction service either.

Getting rid of a stone cold killer, it might be argued, corrects society. Reestablishes a balance.

Agreed on the revenge and satisfaction aspects, with certain limitations. For one, I wonder how many of the victim's family members in India would be satisfied to lower the condemned into a vat of hydrofluoric acid a quarter of an inch at a time. For another, I don't think government should have the legal power of life and death over the governed, even in criminal matters. Corruption and incompetence are too common, and as you pointed out earlier, death is too final. 

Hydrofluoric acid? That's nasty, but how about strapping him into a giant cold cut slicer set to "shave."

Justice should, first, do something for those who the criminal hurt. Almost always, when the families of capital criminals are interviewed, they want an eye for an eye kind of justice. Short of that, they tend to feel that the state isn't taking their loss and their pain seriously.

I believe she (the victim) was a nurse on her way to work. A worthwhile human destroyed by a bunch of human hyenas.


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