ROVA DOVA

Part 134- Death Penalty

By Rova - February 21, 2021

Quick Facts:

  • Capital Punishment, or more commonly known as the death penalty is a state-sanctioned homicide as a punishment for a crime. ( Also known as death row)
  • The ordering that someone is punished with the death penalty is called a death sentence
Okay, so, big news. ( More like drastic, serious news.) A woman named Shabnam Ali has become a death row convict in Uttar Pradesh. What's wrong with that? Well, she is on course to become Independent India's first woman to be executed. This means that she is the first woman to be executed in India since they became independent. ( Well, there have been a few cases, but this is the first time a woman has been hanged in recent times.) Shocking, right? Here's why.

In India, women were never, or even rarely, given the death penalty because they were seen as multifaced and indispensable members of the family. People would/could never see women as criminals, stereotyping them as caregivers and nurturers. Yes, they were arrested for crimes, but never sentenced to death. I have to ask, did they think that a woman was innocent just because she is a caregiver. Even though they take care of a family and are very precious, women shouldn't be let go easily or not given the right punishment if they commit a terrible crime. Barbaric, inhuman ones. For instance, the Amroha Case. The one we will be talking about. 




Ms. Shabnam has been convicted of killing 7 members of her family- Father, mother, older brother, brother's wife, elder brother's 10-moths old son, younger brother, and her cousin- in 2008. She apparently, sedated 6 of the members- except the child- and then chopped their heads off with an ax while her lover- Saleem- held them by their hair. She then throttled her 10-months old nephew. After doing so, she would have been the sole heir to the house and property. Apparently, her family did not approve of her relationship with Mr. Saleem, a Class VI dropout. 5 days after that they were arrested, and Ms. Shabnam was found to be 7 weeks pregnant. Her 12-years old son appealed for President Ram Nath Kovind to "forgive" his mother, and that same day Ms. Shabnam filed a second mercy petition with the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. 

She initially claimed that she was the one who raised the alarm of her family's murder and that, unknown assailants had entered her house and killed everyone. During the trial, the couple turns on each other. Ms. Shabnam claims that Mr. Saleem entered the house and killed everyone, but Mr. Saleem claims that Ms. Shabnam called him and confessed that she killed everyone. 

The Mathura Prison- the only place that has a female execution place- "prepares" itself for Ms. Shabnams's execution. Apparently, the hanging house has not been used in quite a long time and needs maintenance. 

I actually want to know why she did this. I know that her family wasn't in favor of her relationship and her anger could have gotten the best of her, but why? It's even slightly possible that she is innocent. She has been doing her very best to use legal remedies so her mercy petition could be heard. Under the law, if multiple people have been sentenced to death in the same case, they have to be executed together. So, they have to be executed after they exhaust their legal resources. But, I think that she shouldn't be forgiven. Even though the death penalty is kind of a way to get justice for murder or even free a family from the guilt of not finding the murderer, it is really extreme and inhuman. It's been about 12 years since this has happened, and she has been in jail this whole time. During this time she might have changed and realized the gravity of her actions. I'm not saying to easily let her go. She literally murdered 7 family members, including a teenager and a mere child. Maybe life without parole would be better than the death penalty. I don't think she or Mr. Saleem should be let go easily or even sent to rehabilitation and then be let go, but I also don't think they should be given the death penalty. 

It doesn't show that we are any better than those who have murdered others. Even though we are legally doing this, it is still inhuman and very extreme punishment. We're almost the same as them when doing this. It's like violence for violence. Except, more controlled violence for uncontrolled violence. Even if the penalty isn't given, they should be given life without parole. To make up for the time lost for those family members. ( I know that's not how it works.) Maybe serve to make up for the lives lost and make up the time they still had left? If given life without parole, they already would be serving prison until they die. But maybe they should do something during their time to make up for it. I'm not sure. ( It's a bit silly, I know, but I'm just stating my mind.)

Anyway, that's all I have to say in this case. I honestly am at a loss for words. I just don't know what to say about this. I had to stop in between writing and think about what I mean and actually think. I could feel myself going back and forth from sides and facts, not knowing where I was going. There are so many things I wanted to talk about regarding this and I just couldn't phrase it right. It's so hard to believe what happened. I-I just don't know what else to say. 



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