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Laudable verdict

The death penalty awarded to Mohammed Arif, the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, in the Red Fort attack case is laudable. The thought of going to the gallows will at least send a chill down the spine of others who may be harbouring the thought that they will get away with a life term after committing such heinous crimes.

H. Narayanan,
Bangalore

* * *

The opinion of outgoing Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti that the death penalty should be retained is welcome in the context of the Delhi blasts. When cold-blooded murders are committed against humanity, there can be no alternative to capital punishment. Our legal system should take into account the conditions prevailing in the country and should not abolish the death penalty just because some other countries have abolished it.

Pratheesh Jacob,
Bangalore

* * *

The advocates of no-capital punishment have suffered a setback with Mr. Lahoti supporting its retention in the statute books. Crime is the cause and punishment its effect. Looking at the growing crime rate and the overcrowded jails, one wonders how prudent it would be to abolish the death penalty without providing for an alternative that can act as a deterrent.

K.A. Solaman,
Alappuzha, Kerala

* * *

Given the heated debate surrounding the death penalty, here is a suggestion. Elicit the opinion of the families of about 1000 victims of cold-blooded murder, including the Delhi blasts, from all over India.

If a majority of them is for capital punishment, its abolition will amount to rubbing salt on their wounds. The need of the hour is to think of less medieval ways of implementing the death penalty.

E.M. Adithyan,
Edapal, Kerala

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