'India should end death penalty'

Death penalty in a country like India that carries the message of non-violence on the global stage is a paradox, said Robert Badinter, a globally renowned lawyer.

New Delhi: Death penalty in a country like India that carries the message of non-violence on the global stage is a paradox, said Robert Badinter, a globally renowned lawyer.

“India is a specific unique nation in the world carrying on a message of non-violence. But the continuance of death penalty in the country contradicts the culture of non-violence symbolised by India,” said Badinter at a talk on 'Death Penalty: The French and the European experience' at India International Centre here Thursday.

“Death penalty is inhuman and poison of the society. India has such high values, why keep it (death penalty). Get rid of it,” said Badinter, who has been advocating the abolition of death penalty.

Badinter, who has also served as minister of justice in France, said that death penalty is not a deterrent to crime and terrorism.

"Crime is horrible and people must be protected against. But the fact is that crime has always been horrible and death penalty is not the solution," he added.

“Terrorists have special relationship with death. A man who can blow himself in a supermarket and kill 50 people will not be dissuaded by the threat of death penalty. He would rather be a hero for others (terrorists),” she added.

Praising the European Union for its stance against death penalty, Badinter said that it is the only continent in the world where “fundamental and human rights are best guaranteed.”

“So much of bloody crime has been committed from this continent, but the death penalty has been banned in Europe. It is so much guilty of the horrendous crime, that it says no to death penalty,” Badinter said, referring to the two World Wars.

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