Crimes and punishments have always been the centre of debates many times in this country without any genuine solution for our society which is in constant danger by hard criminals who quite often commit cold blooded and frenzied murders.  Some people of the “do-gooders” type seem to take a negative attitude about death penalty just to protect those hardened criminals. But never give a damn about families who have lost their loved ones in horrible murder cases. And yet those so called “do-gooders” will do everything for the welfare of those criminals in prison. What about the victims’families? Who cares about them? This is the question we need to ask!

Only recently the Assize Court has sentenced a man to 60 years imprisonment for the cold blooded murder of a young girl. There is an appeal against that sentence and we won’t comment on that case itself as  a respect to our Judiciary but suffice to say  that we need  a serious reflection to consider reintroduce the death penalty to curb the rising criminality in the country.

Lots  of ideas have been expressed criticizing our judiciary system for being too soft in dealing with hard case criminals whose culture is crime of violence such as rapes and murders. The majority of people, if a referendum were to be held, would demand the reintroduction of the death penalty.

It is worth seeing what some of the victims and public figures have to say on the issue before coming to a conclusion. A balanced judgment can be passed if we examine the opinions of ordinary people. To achieve this target, the opinions of different persons were solicited without dragging party politics or any personal issue into the subject.

I fully agree with the idea of capital punishment being reintroduced in Mauritius. (This is my own opinion) Present day society is very different from past society. In the past, crimes were very rare and most of the crimes were due to sudden anger or provocation. But today they are so different from those of the past. Most of the crimes are well-planned, premeditated, and carried out without the slightest care and remorse on the part of the criminals. Crime has become an industry. Therefore, we need to reintroduce the death penalty to curb the high crime rate. The only thing is we should have proper trials.

Let us remember that when a sort of act distorts the order of society, it is the duty of the law to protect human beings. In South Africa a boy who had stolen four US Dollars was sentenced to 18 years’ rigorous imprisonment. This is how such a country reacts to crimes.

When analyzing the Mauritian situation, it is critical and alarming. Crimes take place as a chain. Rape, child abuse, murders, etc… are very common. Who is responsible for this? As a society and as parents, teachers, religious dignitaries, politicians and media personnel, all of us are responsible for this situation.

I understand how human rights feel about death penalty. When it comes to such organizations as human rights, my questions are simply how about being killed by another human being? Where do our human rights go when this happens? The law must come forward to protect society whenever there is disorder…

Today, if a woman can’t stay at her own home alone, how can we define privacy? If you can abuse a small boy for your own sexual satisfaction the law should be rectified to protect human beings and their right to life.

Many people argue that reintroducing the death penalty is a very timely idea and it will help reduce the increasing crime rate in the country. In the Middle East Countries, fingers and hands are cut off even for minor offences like robbery. In those countries, shops are kept open without caretakers but nobody robs them. Jewellery shops are open without salesmen but there is nobody to rob them. Rape incidents are very rare.

Some politicians oppose death penalty for fear of being implicated but this should never be the case. Criminals are well-looked after in our prisons and crimes are becoming a sort of culture for them, which they can’t keep away from. Therefore, we need a strong deterrent to make these criminals realize that crimes have no place in a decent society.

By Ahmad Macky