An overwhelming majority of people supported the death sentence for Kasab. More importantly, an overwhelming majority of those who were his victims or relatives of those he killed wanted him executed.
As a libertarian, I am more concerned with what those who are affected by the crime think and want. Criminal laws are based on statutes written by governments. The media focuses on what the people in general want. We lose sight of the person whose opinion should matter the most – The victim of the crime.
If you are robbed or injured, then your opinion should matter the most – you should have a say in what punishment should be given to the perpetrator of the crime. Laws should be victim centric.
The victim or his kin (in case the victim is dead), should be able to demand reparations from the estate of the criminal being in a position – within broad guidelines – to decide the fate of the criminal.
Law must give priority to:
* Victim’s demand to be compensated: If you are robbed, you may have a right to recover not only what was stolen but also compensation for the mental trauma caused to you.
* Victim’s demand for punishment: You may ask for the guilty to be put behind bars and be subject to hard labour and you should even be compensated from his earnings.
If the victim has been killed, his next of kin may want the death penalty and the property of the murderer to vest with them – again within guidelines – this could be allowed. Or the victim’s family may want the killer to be given a life sentence of hard labour and his earnings be used to compensate the victim’s family.
Admittedly this is not a complete legal treatise but some thoughts on how the law can evolve so as to not ignore the victim but to hold his opinion as paramount before a judgment is passed.
So much time and money was spent unnecessarily on protecting Kasab who savagely killed hundreds of Indians on the fateful night of 26/11. According to news reports, the Indian government spent INR 1.14 crore on officers and advocates for the Kasab case. Added to this spend, was a payment of INR 10.87 crore to the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) for personnel deputed to guard Kasab. Why did the death sentence take so long? Wasn’t it enough that so many people have identified him in the court?
Kasab will never die. As long as we take years to announce a death sentence for a terrorist and as long as we let looters have the luxury of walking away from courts unharmed, we will never have peace of mind. How many victims are there in India who feel justice has not been served or has taken way too long?