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Non-Doctrinal Research On The Effect of Capital Punishment On Society

Non-Doctrinal Research On The Effect of Capital Punishment On Society

Prepared and Presented as a requirement for the Foundation Course on Legal and Social Science
Research Method

Submitted by:- Mayank Pandey

Roll no:21 LL.M. IInd Year (2Yr Course)

IIIrd Semester University of Dellhi.

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Introduction
The society presupposes existence of law i.e. ubi societus ibi jus. For the proper and effective regulation of
society we have various kinds of laws. Generally speaking laws are divided into two categories: Civil Laws
& Criminal Laws. Civil Laws deals with civil right while Criminal Laws deals with crimes and provide
punishment for them.

It is the State which punish criminals. Punishment necessarily implies some kind of pain inflicted upon
the offender or loss caused to him for his criminal act which may either be intended to deter him from
repeating the offence or may be an expression of societys disapprobation for his anti-social conduct or it
may be directed to reform and regulate him and at the time protect the society from law breakers.

Kinds of Punishment

Punishment may be of various kinds depending on the nature of offence, effect on the society and status of
the offender etc. Section 53 of The Indian Penal Code 1860 provides for the following kinds if
punishments:-

(1)Death Sentence or Capital Punishment

(2)Imprisonment for Life

(3)Imprisonment which is of two descriptions namely:-

(a)Rigorous that is hard labor

(b)Simple

(4)Forfeiture of Property

(5)Fine

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment or Death Sentence simply means putting end the life of offender by hanging him. The
Indian Penal Code 1860 (I.P.C.) provides death sentence for following offences:-

(1)Waging war against Government (Sec.121)

(2)Abetment of Mutiny (Sec.132)

(3)Fabricating false evidence leading to ones conviction for the capital punishment (Sec.194)

(4)Murder (Sec.302)

(5)Abetment of suicide of child or insane person (Sec.305)

(6)Abetment of murder by a life convicts (Sec.307)

(7)Dacoity with murder (Sec.396)

Besides this there are various laws which provides for Capital Punishment. Though I.P.C. or other laws
provides about punishment but they are silent as to when it should be given. It depends upon the
discretion of court while convicting the offenders.

In Rajendra Prasad vs. State of U.P.1 the Supreme Court has observed that capital sentence may be
awarded where the survival of the society is in danger. The court laid down various guidelines while
awarding capital punishment. It should be awarded in cases of crimes committed in cool blood, planned
motivation, to white collar criminals, persons guilty of adulteration etc.

In Bachan Singh vs. State of Punjab2 the Supreme Court while upholding the validity of death penalty
expressed the opinion that a real abiding concern for dignity of human life postulate resistance to taking a
life through laws instrumentality. They ought not to be done save in the rarest of the rare cases, when the
alternative option is unquestionably foreclosed. The aggravating circumstance which justifies the award
death penalty must be summed up as:-

* If the murder has been committed after previous planning and involve extreme brutality
* If the murder involves exceptional depravity

The question as to what are Rarest Of The Rare Cases justifying death penalty lies in the discretion of
judges, which should be exercised after taking in to consideration all facts and circumstances of the case
including the condition of victim.

Theories of Punishment

Various theories have been propounded to justify the ends of criminal justice and punishment. They can
be broadly discussed under the following heads:-

Deterrent Theory

According to this theory the main object of punishment is to make commission of an offence an ill-bargain
for the offender and deter other from committing crimes. As Salmond rightly puts it punishment is
before all thing deterrent and chief aim of law of crime is to make the evil-door an example and a warning
to all that are minded with him.

The deterrent theory justifies exemplary punishment because it not only dissuades the offender from
repeating crime but also deter other from indulging into such criminal activities. It emphasizes the
necessity of protecting the society in a manner so that others are deterred from law breaking.

Retributive Theory

According to this theory evil should be returned for evil without any regard to the consequences. It is
based on rule of natural justice which is based on maxim an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The
theory therefore emphasize that pain is to be inflicted on offender by way of punishment must outweigh
the pleasure derived by him from his criminal act. It suggests that punishment is an expression of
societys disappropriation for offenders criminal act.

Preventive Theory

The preventive theory is founded on the idea of preventing repetition of crime by disabling the offender
through measure such as imprisonment, forfeiture, death sentence etc. this theory does not lay much
emphasis on the motive of wrongdoer but seeks to take away his physical power to commit offence. In
punishing criminals, the community protects itself against anti-social acts which endanger social order in
general.

Reformative Theory

The Reformative Theory of punishment emphasis on reformation of offenders through the method of
individualization. It is based on the humanistic principle that even if an offender commits a crime, he
does not cease to be human being. Therefore an effort should be made to reform him during the period of
his incarceration. Thus as opposed to deterrent theory, the reformative theory aims at socialization of the
offender so that the factors which motivated him to commit the crime are eliminated and he gets a chance
of leading a normal life in the society.

Thus according to this theory punishment is used as a measure to reclaim the offender and not to torture
him. The theory therefore condemns all kinds of corporeal punishment. The major thrust of this theory is
rehabilitation of inmates in penal institution so that they are transformed into good citizens.

OBJECTIVE

In this theoretical framework of capital punishment the main focus of my study evaluate the effect of
capital punishment on society with respect to its deterrent

Whether the society forbear to commit crime because there is capital punishment for it?

Whether the capital punishment serves as an instrument to deter the society for committee serious
crimes?

Whether capital punishment has deterrent effect on society or not?

HYPOTHESIS

Capital punishment serves as a deterrent effect to the society.

Capital Punishment Independent variable

Deterrent effect Dependent variable

The hypothesis signifies a tentative relationship between the two variables. The statement is testable by
the data collection from field survey by questionnaire put before students, general public and lawyers and
also by studying other relevant materials.

OPERATIONALIZATION

For the purpose of my study the term used in the hypothesis have the following meaning.

Capital punishment means Death sentence.

Deterrent Effect means effect by which the society forbears to commits crime.

METHOLOGY

This being an empirical research is based on data collected from primary source and survey of secondary
sources.

The primary sources of data collection are the opinion of students, general public and lawyers. The tool
that is used for data collection is questionnaire. This questionnaire consists of structured questions with
all closed-ended questions. The secondary sources are books of IPC and articles on capital punishment
etc.

SAMPLE

The method of sampling is to be used is simple random sampling.

SELECTION OF AREA

As data has to be collected by field survey. Respondent have to be selected from universe of the study. The
hole of Delhi is my universe. But due to paucity of time and money, I limit my area of study to North Delhi
and that two only students, general public and lawyers of Tis Hazari Court.

SAMPLE SIZE

As regard sample size, I choose 30 respondents. Out of these 10 are Students of Faculty of Law Delhi
University, 10 are person from General Public selected from Kamala Nagar Market and 10 are Lawyers.

SCOPE & LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Scope of this non-doctrinal research is limited because the research is conducted within small universe in
a restricted geographical area. It is always possible that the replication of this study with a larger universe
and availability of time may give more accurate result.

Respondents Number
Students 10

General Public 10
Lawyer 10

ABOUT SURVEY CONDUCTED & DIFFICULTY FACED

I conducted this non-doctrinal research in a very limited area and that too in a very short span of time
between 2nd January to 10th January. I interviewed 30 respondents, classification of which is given
earlier in the report.

DATA ANALYSIS

The responses to questions asked are analyzed with the help of tabulation and data is represented. The
responses obtained in the study are pictorially represented in the form of pie diagram wherever found
appropriate. Keeping in mind the limitation, the study is predominantly to test the hypothesis.

Q.1. Do you know that people who commit crime get convicted?

This was an introductory question just for setting the respondent up for the question. To this all
respondent (30) responded affirmatively.

Q.2. Do you know that crime affect society as a whole?

Table-1
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 8 6 10 24 80
No 2 4 0 6 20

Out of 30 respondents 24 were of the view that crime affect society as a whole. Among them 80%
students, 60% General Public and 100% Lawyers answered in affirmative.

It shows that people are generally aware that crime affects society as a whole.

Q.3. Do you know that law provide different punishment for different crimes?

Option Students General Public Lawyers


Total
Number Percentage
Yes 6 5 10 21 70
No 4 5 0 9 30

Out of 30 respondents 29 knew that Law provides different punishments for different crimes. Among
them 100 % students, 90 % general public and 100% lawyers were answered in affirmative.

It shows that majority of the people knows that law provides different punishment for different crimes.

Q.3.1. If yes, do you know that following kinds of punishment has been provided by law?

1. Death Sentence or Punishment


2. Life imprisonment
3. Imprisonment
4. Forfeiture of Property
5. Fine

TABLE-3

Option Students General Public Lawyers


Total
Number Percentage
Yes 4 5 9 18 60
No 6 5 1 12 40

Out of 30 respondents only 18 knew that Law provides above kinds of punishments. Among them 40 %
students, 50 % public and 90 % lawyers answered in affirmative.

It shows that though majority of people knows about various kinds of punishments but still a lot of people
does not have knowledge about it.

Q.4. Do you think that by giving punishment law can prevent the incidences of crimes?

TABLE-4
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 6 8 7 21 70
No 4 2 3 9 30

Out of 30 respondents 21 were of view that law can prevent crime by providing punishment for it. Among
them 60 % students, 80% public and 70% lawyers answered in affirmative.

It shows that the society realize that by giving punishment incidents of crime can be prevented.

Q.5 Do you think that capital punishment should be given in all crimes?

TABLE-5
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total

Number Percentage
Yes 2 2 1 5 17
No 8 8 9 25 83

Out of 30 respondents 25 were of view that capital punishment should not be given in all offences. Among
them 80 % students, 80 % public and 90% lawyers were answered in negative.

It shows that the large majority of people do not want application of capital punishment in all offences. It
means society do not want it to be given in all crimes.

Q.6. Do you think that capital punishment should be given in cases of heinous, brutal, barbarous,
premeditated crimes?

TABLE-6
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 8 6 8 22 73
No 2 4 2 8 27

This question is sequel to Question-5. Out of 30 respondents 22 were of view that capital punishment
should be given in brutal, barbarous crimes. Among them 80 % students, 60 % public and 80 % lawyers
were answered in affirmative.

It shows the view of society that it wants its application in serious and heinous crimes.

Q.7. Do you think that before committing crime, people think about the punishment provided for the
same?

TABLE-7
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage

Yes 7 6 9 22 73
No 3 4 1 8 27

Out of 30 respondents 22 were of view that before committing crime, criminals have in their mind about
punishment. Among them 70 % students, 60 % public and 90 % lawyers answered in affirmative.

It shows that in the general opinion of the society, criminal have impact of punishment.

Q.8. Have you heard about any person who has been given capital punishment?

TABLE-8
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 8 7 10 25 83
No 2 3 0 5 17

Out of 30 respondents 25 have heard about a person who has been awarded capital punishment. Among
them 80 % students, 70 % public and100 lawyers answered in affirmative.

It shows that the thumbing majority of the people have heard about capital sentencing of a person.

Q.9. Do you think that capital punishment discourages the criminal conduct on the part of those who are
aware of existence of capital punishment?

TABLE-9
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 7 5 8 20 67
No 3 5 2 10 33

Out of 30 respondents 20 were of view that knowledge of capital punishment discourages the offender for
proceeding towards crime. Among them 70 % students, 50 % public and 80 % lawyers answered in
affirmative.

It reveals that majority of the society think that existence of capital punishment discourages the people for
committing crime.

Q.10. Are you of view that incidences of crime in the society can be prevented without giving any
punishment?

TABLE-10
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 2 3 0 5 17
No 8 7 10 25 83

Out of 30 respondents 25 were of view that crime can not be prevented without giving punishment.
Among them 80 % students, 70 % public and 100 % lawyers answered in negative.

It shows that majority of the people are of view that for the prevention of crime punishment is sine qua
none.

Q.11. Do you think that before proceeding towards crime, the fear of punishment cum in the mind of
offender?

TABLE-11
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 7 8 8 23 77
No 3 2 2 7 23

Out of 30 respondents 23 thought that fear of punishment came in the mind of criminals before
proceeding towards crime. Among them 70 % students, 80 % public and 80 % lawyers answered in
affirmative.

It shows the thinking of the society that before proceeding towards crime it think about punishment
provided for the same. In other words it means severe the sentence greater will be the thinking before
proceeding towards it.

Q.12. Do you know that now days a demand has been arisen for abolition of capital punishment?

TABLE-12
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 8 6 10 24 80
No 2 4 0 6 20

Out of 30 respondents 24 were aware about demand of abolition of capital punishment. Among them 80
% students, 60 % public and 100 % lawyers answered in affirmative.

It shows that society is aware about demand of abolition of capital punishment.

Q. 13. Are you in favour of its abolition?

TABLE-13
Option Students General Public Lawyers
Total
Number Percentage
Yes 7 8 7 22 73
No 3 2 3 8 27

Out of 30 respondents 22 were of view that it should not be abolished. Among them 70 % students, 80 %
public and 70 % lawyers answered in negative.

Though this question is not related to hypothesis but in directly it reveal that society wants its retention
because it discourage people in general for committing heinous crimes.

OBSERVATION

During analysis of data, it was observed that students of Law Faculty were more aware about answers in
comparison to General Public but hesitant to answer in comparison to Lawyers. I observed mixed
response form public.
HYPOTHESIS TESTED

On the basis of aforesaid observation and analysis oh the responses to the questions which were put to the
students, public and lawyers it can be said that the hypothesisCapital punishment serves as a deterrent effect to the society

is proved up to the satisfaction, because responses shows that capital punishment has deterrent effect on
society and member of society forbear to commit heinous crime due to its existence

QUESTIONNAIRE (ANNEXURE I)

IDENTIFICATION PARTICULARS (Optional)

Name -

Age -

Sex -

Occupation - Student /General Public/Lawyer (Tick one)

Q.1. Do you know that people who commit crime get convicted?

Yes

No

Q.2. Do you know that crime affects society as a whole?

Yes

No

Q.3. Do you know that law provide different punishment for different crimes?

Yes

No

Q.3.1. If yes, do you know that following kinds of punishment has been provided by law?

6. Death Sentence or Punishment


7. Life imprisonment
8. Imprisonment
9. Forfeiture of Property
10. Fine

Yes

No

Q.4. Do you think that by giving punishment law can prevent the incidences of crimes?

Yes

No

Q.5 Do you think that capital punishment should be given in all crimes?

Yes

No

Q.6. Do you think that capital punishment should be given in cases of heinous, brutal, barbarous,
premeditated crimes?

Yes

No

Q.7. Do you think that before committing crime, people think about the punishment provided for the
same?

Yes

No

Q.8. Have you heard about any person who has been given capital punishment?

Yes

No

Q.9. Do you think that capital punishment discourages the criminal conduct on the part of those who are
aware of existence of capital punishment?

Yes

No

Q.10. Are you of view that incidences of crime in the society can be prevented without giving any
punishment?

Yes

No

Q.11. Do you think that before committing crime, fear of punishment come in the mind of offender?

Yes

No

Q.12. Do you know that now days a demand has been arisen for abolition of capital punishment?

Yes

No

Q. 13. Are you in favour of its abolition?

Yes

No

BIBILIOGRAPHY

BOOKS:-

* Fitzgerald P.J. : Salmond on Jurisprudence (12th Ed.)


* Moberly W.: The Ethics Of Punishment (1968)
* Bames $ Teeters: New Horizons in Criminology (3rd Ed.)
* Gaur H.S.: Penal Laws of India (4th Ed.)

ARTICLES:-

* Basawar Raju, C: Who deserves capital punishment- An Analysis, SCJ (2002)


* Gupta D.: Capital Punishment and the Poor
* Hood R. : Capital Punishment at the Start of 21st Centaury
* Grant R.B.: Capital Punishment and Violence