People of California have a referendum on Proposition 34 which is about retention of death penalty. Around 260 murderers face death penalty in California. Some groups are canvassing for abolition of death penalty. Some are in favour of death penalty. It is sad that Catholic bishops favour abolition.
People of California should learn lessons from Mexico which did away with death penalty. Murders take place openly without any fear. That has led to rival gangs engaging in shootouts anywhere, anytime. Policepersons are not safe. Priests, teachers and many others are murdered at random. California should imitate Texas which executed around 254 persons in 11 years. Texasâ€™ Governor Rick Perry earned applause for his statement that he does not lose sleep over people executed.
Judgments in cases of Priyadarshini Mattoo and Pratibha have raised questions about what is a rarest of rare case. Supreme Court in 1980 restricted death penalty to rarest of rare cases. It usurped the function of legislature.
The government must act and bring a law that makes death penalty mandatory in all cases of murder, attempted murder, abduction, hijacking, kidnapping and other such high crimes.
In Priyadarshiniâ€™s cases the criminal had committed house breaking, rape and murder. High Court had awarded death penalty. Supreme Court reduced it life imprisonment. As Adiya Nath Kaul said on CNN-IBN on 8/10/2010 life sentence in India is a joke. He gave the example of Manu Sharma.
Some months back Praveen Mahajan, serving life sentence for murder of Pramod Mahajan, was out on parole. On the last day of parole he was supposed to have suffered brain haemorrhage and was admitted to an ICU in a hospital. After that his family said they do not have money to pay for his medical expenses and wanted the state to pay for his medical expenses. The state was looking into the issue on humanitarian grounds.