Death for child rapists unwise

  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 21 Jan 2003

THE death sentence has been recommended by some for child rapists. 

This is unwise as an innocent person may be sent to the gallows. It has happened before in other countries. 

Recently, Anthony Porter, a man found guilty of murder in Illinois, USA, was proven innocent 48 hours before his execution. So, mistakes do happen.  

It is better for 10 guilty people to go scot-free than for an innocent to be put to death. 

The outgoing Illinois Governor George Ryan, who was once a firm believer in capital punishment, said on pardoning four and commuting 167 people's death sentences to life:  

“The US imposes the death penalty in an arbitrary, capricious, immoral way that is not only inaccurate, unjust but also brutal, incompetent, tilted to the affluent and at times very racist.” 

Child sexual abuse is a repetitive behaviour.  

Culprits usually have a sordid past history before they are convicted.  

A jail sentence will not change their morbid desire for children.  

Their warped mind believes that children like or deserve to be used for sex by grown-ups.  

They should instead be made to undergo compulsory counselling or chemical castration or both.  

Child sex offenders, if released into society after a jail term, will tend to seek out similar characters, thus reinforcing each other’s offensive behaviour. 

This will undoubtedly be a recipe for disaster.  

Child sex offenders must, therefore, be rigorously monitored and treated to change their mindset.  

Thus far, 111 nations have abolished the death penalty because there is no reverse gear to it and it is of dubious deterrent value. However, 84 countries still retain it.  

Malaysia is one of them. 

It is difficult to see how the execution of child rapists augments our public interest in a way that eventual death in the prison cell by natural causes would not.  

DR A. SOORIAN, Seremban. (via e-mail) 

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