Rape is by far the most heinous crime we face today. Different countries have different punishments varying from jail terms to castrations and death penalties depending on the gravity of the crime committed. Should there be a universal punishment for this monstrous act? Before we make judgments based on our concise, we need to learn the circumstances the crime was committed in by the accused and accordingly punishments and/or correction should be awarded.
What is the purpose of punishing an offender? Is it for setting an example, so that nobody dares to commit a similar offense or is it to reform the accused and make him/her a better person for the society?
General attitude towards a rape crime
More often nowadays, the media bias us when a rape is reported. We are ready to lynch the person down or bring upon the accused, similar pain suffered by the victim without giving chance for a fair judicial trial. If we went about doing so, our judiciary system would fail and all hell will break loose in our society.
Don’t get us wrong here, we are all in for deserved punishments and corrections for sexual offenses and there is absolutely no justification for it what so ever, but the anxiety we bear towards these culprits are not safe either. It makes us all more or less as insensitive towards the person who committed the crime, which is not healthy for a progressive society.
Arguments against capital punishment
Of course, capital punishments should be given to the most gruesome and rarest of rare crimes committed, that too on a speedy trial basis. This sets a strict example for the intolerance of such crimes in the society, thereby making it safer for its people.
Capital punishment, actually– in a way relieves the accused of the heinous act too early. The victim will still be suffering from mental traumas, when the criminal is put to rest – is that not too much of an irony?
Awarding long-term rigorous imprisonment would be more justifiable to the victim as they see how the offender is being reminded everyday of the gruesome crime committed as long as they are in confinement. It is not easy to repent and be imprisoned compared to ending life without feeling remorse for the crime committed.
A twisted mind might use the law to his/her benefit if it were to give capital punishment for all rapes.
Punishment for Minors
There are arguments that a minor should be given punishment of lesser gravity for rape offenses. It is a valid argument when we look at it superficially, but should be considered based on the crime committed. However, it is important to send these minor offenders to jail for crimes committed. It will make them law-abiding citizens in future. These minds are still young and can be incorporated with the society after they have reformed through psychological therapies and deserved jail terms.
On an average, a 15 -16-year-old minor is more actively participating in sexual activities today. This scenario has changed drastically over the last 15-20 years because of the life-style changes that have seeped into our modern society. However, these changes have introduced the minors into irresponsible sexual activities and have become difficult for the law to intervene and stop rapes that are casual amongst them on pretext of casual sex. They become easy victims as well as accused because of this. There is a need to reclassify the age limit for minors in sexual offenses and educate them about the crimes and its repercussions.
Not all rapes are the same; therefore, capital punishment should be selective and must be awarded for rarest of rare crimes. For lesser gruesome rape offenses, there should be rigorous imprisonment of longer terms. The accused must undergo correctional and reformative steps along with this jail term.