Friday, June 17, 2016

An eye for an eye: a case for death penalty for albino-killers

GRANTED, the 21st century world is essentially an era of the triumph of human rights. Ostensibly dancing to the tune of this era, there have been calls for the abolishment of death penalty. Proponents of death penalty have always argued that killing a human being as punishment is primitive, barbaric, and costly.
Without doubt, the calls for the abolishment of death penalty are and continue to be persuasive. And, true to that, a good number of people have been persuaded to this fold. However, the recent spate of albino-butchering has changed the penal terrain and has weakened the anti-death penalty calls. It is for this reason that calls for the death penalty on albino-killers are justifiable. And here is why.

Killing albino-killers clears society of albino-killers
Elsewhere people have justified death penalty on the basis of deterrence. However, research has shown that death penalty does not sufficiently deter people from committing the offence. Whether death penalty sufficiently deters offenders or not is a problem for another day, the simple truth remains that when you kill the killers the society becomes clear of killers. 

It is an elementary fact of the social contract that people come together and form a society to run away from the brutal, cruel, and barbaric natural state of life. Society loses its meaning if people can experience the same brutality, cruelty, and barbarism life as happened in the state of nature. What will remain of a society if, after sacrificing some of their individual rights in exchange for security, all the people get is insecurity?

Again, it is a measure of a civilized nation that its citizens are accorded the fullest security. A nation is backward if its citizens live in perpetual insecurity. And the best guarantee of security is the meting out of punishment in full force to offenders. And this means, in case of the killing of albinos, giving death penalty.

Killing albino-killers avenges victims’ death
Call it backward or what have you, it does make sense that the gap created by losing a family member in the calculated circumstances characteristic of the albino-killings will, to a certain satisfactory level, be filled by killing the killer. 

The justification here being that the loss of a relative in such barbaric circumstances causes too much grief and resentment and the same can be suppressed if the perpetrator gets the death penalty. It should be emphasized here that punishment loses its touch if the offender of such grievous offences as slicing a fellow human being goes to prison and comes to see the light of day.

Killing albino-killers shrinks peoples’ eagerness for mob justice
Call ourselves lucky to this moment that we have not heard of a mob justice on albino-killers. This is the case perhaps because no one has been caught in the act of killing an albino. Such mob justice will not be surprising given the fact that people are more than willing to kill suspected thieves.

Furthermore, people are not currently taking the law into their hands probably because they are pursuing the let’s-wait-and-see attitude—that is, waiting to see the government’s response. They may decide to act in the way they know best if they will not like the action taken by government. And it can only be speculated here that the people would not administer mob justice if they see government mete out death penalty to albino-killers. 

This therefore means that the passing of death penalty to albino-killers will be in line with the human rights dispensation. This will be the case because, unlike mob justice, the suspected albino-killers will be allowed to exercise their right to legal representation and all the legal safeguards accorded to an accused person.

Killing albino-killers lifts the moral torture of feeding killers
Imagine. That albino family member of yours was killed, say, last month. You have grieved enough and things are seemingly returning to normal. And now you are buying your usuals—sugar, soap, matches, lotion, salt etc.—and tax is deducted. That tax forms the subvention to prisons which is used to buy food for prisoners including that prisoner who murdered your family member. Now imagine the psychological and moral torture you have to endure upon that realization!

Honestly, you do not have to suffer that way and endure all that. That psychological and moral torture gets lifted the moment the death penalty is pronounced. It can thus be seen here that death penalty has the added advantage of lifting the moral burden of feeding killers.

Albino-killers have no rights because they are not human beings
It is common knowledge in the human rights world that human rights are entitlements for human beings only. Accepted, a human being in an imperfect being; he can steal, stab, mob, or even kill. However, in doing all these bad things, a human being is guided by some residual sense of humanness. A human being who maims a fellow human being loses his sense of humanness and automatically seizes to be human. Albino-killers maim albinos and are thus not human beings.
Albinos: hunted for their body parts

Albino-killers chop the bodies of albinos into parts. In all conscience, such people cannot claim to have rights. Defending such people is not only preposterous, it is also outright wicked. 

The foregoing may be outlandish. It may also be unthinkable or backward. That’s your take and this is a free world. But for some of us, the above case is progressive. For many of us are tired with the prevailing mentality on albino killing which, in all fairness, appears to take the side of the offender rather than that of the victim. So, next time you argue that albino-killers have a right to life, think about the victims whose lives they needlessly and mercilessly take away.

Malawi has not abolished the death penalty; it is there in our laws. So do the needful courts, implement it. When you think about exodus 21:24 and look at punishments our good courts mete out to albino-killers you cannot help but ask: “Are our courts really serious?” Judge Madise’s recent life imprisonment judgment starts the journey; let’s hope the entire justice machinery will join. But hey, no offence intended our courts, this is only a case for death penalty for albino-killers!

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