Death penalty or just a sick killing spree


Pakistan’s use of the death penalty is becoming increasingly controversial, as the frequency and number of executions are growing at an alarming rate since the informal moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in December.

With the widespread practice of forced confessions, the executions of minor offenders, a lack of due process in Pakistan’s flawed justice system and wrongful convictions, how can we even justify this killing spree – especially when the list of people due to be hanged now include some cases that don’t even fall under terrorism.

One of the convicts is a juvenile offender, Shafqat Hussain, who was only fourteen at the time of conviction that has been awarded to him on the basis of single evidence obtained out of torture under police custody. In light of the executions of juvenile offenders and the flawed justice system of Pakistan, where the poor are routinely subjected to police brutality, torture and inept public defenders, a moratorium on death penalty is no way to resolve Pakistan’s pressing security and law-and-order problems.

The most sickening trend, is the large number of Pakistanis, even those who usually sympathise with terrorists or their ideology, support the lifting of moratorium. The other day, I was listening to my favourite radio show (no more now) that apparently is popular among Pakistan’s relatively liberal class. Even though it’s a light show, based on silly anecdotes mostly, the RJ had the guts to invite comments on an issue like ‘lifting of moratorium on death penalty.’ The shocking still were the responses pouring in from the listeners, with some people commenting that they would, ‘enjoy,’ or ‘have fun,’ watching these terrorists hanged, even asking for public executions.

The death sentences are serious affairs. Killing of a human, even a criminal, has nothing to enjoy about. Only sick minds can take pleasure in that. With this mentality, we are not far behind creating our own ‘Chop Chop Square’ in Islamabad to carry out public executions for public entertainment, as clearly radio shows and other forms of media are not providing enough for our sick minds.

Bushra
1820 hours
Sunday 25 January 2015


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