Five men facing death penalty after bus rape

(504 Posts)
allthegoodnamesweretaken Sun 13-Jan-13 19:15:31

BBC news link here

I'm feeling conflicted about this. Obviously what these men did was horrific, vile and unforgivable. But I just cannot agree with the death penalty.

I feel like I am somehow excusing what they did by not wanting them to be killed, and I can't emphasise enough how despicable I find their actions.

Does the fact that they violated the poor woman's human rights so violently and abhorrently mean they should have their right to life taken away too? Am i being too soft?

I suppose I am asking how you all feel about this, how do you think they should be punished? Also have you ever had your feminist views conflict with other principles, and how have you dealt with this?

<Really hoping I don't get flamed>

CelticPromise Wed 16-Jan-13 13:50:48

Thanks Murder.

constantine2000 Wed 16-Jan-13 13:46:01

Death penalty doesn't work. Many innocent people over here would also be
dead if it was still legal.

CelticPromise Wed 16-Jan-13 13:41:42

Damn! If anyone can make it clicky please do.

CelticPromise Wed 16-Jan-13 13:33:47

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/opinion/after-being-raped-i-was-wounded-my-honor-wasnt.xml

Here's a powerful piece about Indian attitudes to rape. I hope the link works, still haven't mastered this phone.

"I don't agree that the idea of 'rape being worse than death' is just a patriarchal notion."

I agree with you there, but I can see that in places like India the reason behind the thinking might be based more on a patriarchal view of virginity.

ICBINEG You're not kidding sad Even with all the uneven treatment of the sexes over here, I am so thankful I'm here.

I don't agree that the idea of 'rape being worse than death' is just a patriarchal notion. I myself have been raped and honestly, if I were to be attacked again, I would rather be killed than raped. I just cannot go through that again. That is just my personal view, but I don't like to see it reduced to a figment of patriarchal nonsense.

I can see why people like the idea of the death penalty for rapists -- it's not just bloodthirstiness, it's because people are desperate for something to change social norms, because currently men can pretty confidently believe they can rape someone and they will never be punished for it, or just get slapped on the wrist.

I think people would be less supportive of this if governments were seen to be doing something else to address the problem.

It's important to remember, I think, that the sense of justice is one of the strongest drivers of human emotion and behaviour, throughout the world. One of the main reasons why people rebel against their governments or join extreme movements or believe in strict tribal codes is because they believe that justice is not being served.

To take a step back from justice, and consider how the meting out of justice might negatively affect the nature of one's society, is not something that everyone does, and it's a very contested process.

ICBINEG Tue 15-Jan-13 23:56:01

India seems very very messed up with respect to women. <understatement of the century>

Lessthanaballpark Tue 15-Jan-13 23:33:08

"Was the crime here according to India actually raping the wrong caste woman."

Here is Arundhati Roy answering that question. What she says about a psychosis brought on by violent pornography is so true, it's more than disrepect for women, but a hatred.

FarelyKnuts Tue 15-Jan-13 23:14:48

5madthings just to clarify. I was in total agreement with your post. I was quoting you in agreement that I found it offensive to be presumed as someone who has no experience of rape and brutality and a rape apologists. I hope you are ok

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 15-Jan-13 23:06:51

"Was the crime here according to India actually raping the wrong caste woman."

You've got to wonder haven't you. Is it really the brutality of it that has caused outrage over there, or the choice of victim?

Branleuse Tue 15-Jan-13 22:46:13

Reading up a little about indian caste system, and im wondering if anyone would have ever bothered reporting this if the woman was of the untouchable lowest caste.
Was the crime here according to India actually raping the wrong caste woman.

When a whole society is based on inequality from the moment of birth, that can never be risen above, just "your place", where females are routinely aborted or face infanticide, and women are beaten to death for producing too many daughters and widows are expected to fling themselves on the funeral pyre.
How are you ever going to change a whole culture to see that people are people. Rapes like these are just a symptom. How can you have equality between the sexes when there is so much social stratification anyway, and the lowest caste is seen as practically subhuman.

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 15-Jan-13 22:37:13

"By imposing the death penalty, the state can claim to have addressed the problem (by imposing a deterrent) but there is no impetus then to address the roots of the problem and/or its wider manifestations"

I would like to resay what I said earlier...

There is also part of me that feels that society SHOULD pay to house these people in prison for the rest of their lives. They were created by the society that they grew up in, and so society must pay the price of creating them. To have the death penalty just puts them conveniently out of mind, rather than a living breathing reminder of what happened to that poor woman.

TheMysteryCat Tue 15-Jan-13 22:19:51

After the descent into posts that were frothing at the mouth from certain quarters, I almost didn't bother coming back.

But having seen the brilliant post from snow shapes and discussion that follows I'm glad I did.

Thank you especially for the quote from Camille Bell

That article makes a lot of points that I hadn't even thought of, such as

"Available data shows that there is a low rate of conviction in rape cases and a strong possibility that the death penalty would lower this conviction rate even further as it is awarded only under the ‘rarest of rare’ circumstances. The most important factor that can act as a deterrent is the certainty of punishment, rather than the severity of its form."

And

"The logic of awarding death penalty to rapists is based on the belief that rape is a fate worse than death. Patriarchal notions of ‘honour’ lead us to believe that rape is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. There is a need to strongly challenge this stereotype of the ‘destroyed’ woman who loses her honour and who has no place in society after she’s been sexually assaulted."

Which I hadn't thought of as I don't feel our society sees women who've been raped as "destroyed". The very location of this attack actually adds weight against the death penalty.

"The State often reserves for itself the ‘right to kill’ — through the armed forces, the paramilitary and the police. We cannot forget the torture, rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama by the Assam Rifles in Manipur in 2004 or the abduction, gang rape and murder of Neelofar and Aasiya of Shopian (Kashmir) in 2009. [...] Furthermore, with death penalty at stake, the ‘guardians of the law’ will make sure that no complaints against them get registered and they will go to any length to make sure that justice does not see the light of day. The ordeal of Soni Sori, who had been tortured in police custody last year, still continues her fight from inside a prison in Chattisgarh, in spite of widespread publicity around her torture."

Again, context that I hadn't thought of.

"As we know, in cases of sexual assault where the perpetrator is in a position of power (such as in cases of custodial rape or caste and religion violence), conviction is notoriously difficult. The death penalty, for reasons that have already been mentioned, would make conviction next to impossible."

Which I tend to agree with. While our govt is far from whiter than white, we are actually a long long way from this kind of situation.

Lots of food for thought on here - not sure my brain is up to it (it's been a long day).

I agree with every reasoned argument, particularly by ExpatAl and MurderofGoths, against the DP.
Yet still on a visceral level I know I will be happy to see these men's obituaries (great quote).

Thank you for posting that link, snowshapes.

I think this sums my take on this particular case up nicely:
"I am happy we don't have the death penalty here and I don't want it.

However, they Do have it in India and therefore, they should use it. Let this be the last, if you like, but don't tell women that this case wasn't bad enough to warrant it."

MousyMouse Tue 15-Jan-13 21:53:56

“When a person is dead, you are no longer punishing them. You are only punishing the people who love the person sentenced to die. That being the case, why would I want any mother to go through what was hurting me so much?” (Camille Bell, whose child was the victim of a serial killer in 1967)...

this should be reason enough against the death penalty.

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 15-Jan-13 21:51:40

And this post

Aside from all the 'fair' trial aspects, the majority of 'feminists' on this thread are in fact enablers of rapists and other criminals. I've already stated as did another poster that the majority cannot be reformed or rehabilitated and will go on to re offend. By not supporting the death penalty, you are in favour of risking the well wing and safety of others. Political correctness at its worst and human right activist bleating IMO. Go for it anyway, and lets hope nothing of this severity happens to any of you or anyone you know

I am sorry Waynetta but this post sounds slightly unhinged and can't say hysterical on the feminist board baying at the moon. (NOTE TO HELEN and the other lovely people who moderate, I said the post sounds unhinged, NOT the poster)

This bit

"Aside from all the 'fair' trial aspects, the majority of 'feminists' on this thread are in fact enablers of rapists and other criminals. I've already stated as did another poster that the majority cannot be reformed or rehabilitated and will go on to re offend"

How the fuck is being against the death penalty for murder enabling rapists and other criminals?

That is why they are facing the death penalty, for Murder, as I understand it. I happen to be against the death penalty full stop.

I read the rape sentencing guidelines from india today and death is not there - the 'most' they could get for that is life. So India itself would not impose the death penalty for rape.

How am I enabling the current rapists in India?

As for the 'other criminals' you mention, what crimes are you advocating the death penalty for - everything? Our prison population has a HUGE reoffending rate, for all offences. Which crimes are you suggesting we 'solve' with the death penalty?

This is important - The are facing the death penalty for MURDER, not rape, so the mythical deterrent property of death penalties (which is unproved) will not deter rape

But hey, by not believing in the death penalty for any reason for any crime I am condoning and enabling men in another country to rape women and children. Right ho.

That's an interesting article, snow shapes, thank you.

"By imposing the death penalty, the state can claim to have addressed the problem (by imposing a deterrent) but there is no impetus then to address the roots of the problem and/or its wider manifestations."

Absolutely. It's essentially society washing it's hands of it's own part in why those men did what they did. Almost like destroying the evidence of it's own crimes.

Trills Tue 15-Jan-13 21:35:49

I'm going to copy and paste this too because it deserves it By imposing the death penalty, the state can claim to have addressed the problem (by imposing a deterrent) but there is no impetus then to address the roots of the problem and/or its wider manifestations.

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 15-Jan-13 21:33:00

Great post snowshapes

Great post snowshapes, I especially agree with By imposing the death penalty, the state can claim to have addressed the problem (by imposing a deterrent) but there is no impetus then to address the roots of the problem and/or its wider manifestations.

I dont think just by hanging these men will start a process for women and as we know it does not work as a deterrent, my feeling is that this is a showcase for the worlds media but I may be very pessamistic.

snowshapes Tue 15-Jan-13 21:09:36

Not sure if anyone has linked the article posted on FeministsIndia, which condemns the death penalty in relation to this case on several grounds. FeministsIndia

In addition, thinking on it, there are compelling arguments against the death penalty, which are feminist in origin.

Feminism is surely against all forms of domination whereas the death penalty creates a category of rational citizens and a category of ‘monsters’ who deserve to lose their humanity and right to life because of the crimes they have committed. This devaluation of life, of groups of people, is a characteristic of patriarchy, and ensures that patriarchy survives. The perpetuation of the death penalty gives the ultimate power to the state, as the father used to have ultimate power over women and children. It negates the fact that every ‘beastly criminal’ is a woman’s child, and that his (or her) death must usually cause untold pain to her. Thus, the death penalty does not only punish the criminal, it punishes the person who gave birth to him/her and raised him/her. To quote:

“When a person is dead, you are no longer punishing them. You are only punishing the people who love the person sentenced to die. That being the case, why would I want any mother to go through what was hurting me so much?” (Camille Bell, whose child was the victim of a serial killer in 1967)

The death penalty is state sanctioned violence, and if the state sanctions violence, where does that leave women who are usually the victims of violence, male violence, which is culturally and politically condoned, and takes many forms. By imposing the death penalty, the state can claim to have addressed the problem (by imposing a deterrent) but there is no impetus then to address the roots of the problem and/or its wider manifestations.

It is not unfeminist to make these arguments, and it is not an apology for rapists. One either supports the death penalty or one doesn't. To come to the last post, as I have taken ages to write this, the fact that they have the death penalty in India is not a justification for using it: if you believe it is wrong, it is wrong everywhere.

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