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On air: Should there be the death penalty for 'terrorists'?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 11:28 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010

On today's show, in light of the sentencing to death of the sole surviving Mumbai gunman, we're looking at whether the death penalty is the only option when dealing with terrorists. Previously when we've discussed the death penalty on WHYS we often focus on the moral issues. But the view coming out of India is that this man should die to protect the population from him becoming a bargaining chip in the future. Sensible, logical argument or something that will do little more than escalating the violence?

And does it depend on the gravity of the crime? The scale of the atrocity? Should a failed bomber, like the person responsible for the Times Square attempted attack in New York, face the death penalty?


The only gunman to survive the 2008 attacks in Mumbai (Bombay) has been sentenced to death by a court in India. Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, will be executed by hanging for his involvement in the three-day siege which left 166 people dead. The death penalty still has to be confirmed by a higher court, but it is unlikely to be overturned.

Here's a little of what Judge ML Tahaliyani had to say when sentencing:

"The facts are so compelling that the death penalty must be imposed. This court has no other option,"

Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam argued:

"Such a monster should be given death penalty...He is an agent of devil himself. If Kasab is given lesser punishment, India will become a soft target for every self-styled terror group,"

But do you agree?

Samyuktha K doesn't:

"the death sentence to the terrorist evades logic as a fidayeen like Kasab would only embrace death as his means to martyrdom. Additionally, this ruling will not stop any further terror attacks against India but would rather be used by the extremist masterminds to instigate violence and more hatred against India."

Neither does Kia Scherr who lost her husband and daughter in the attacks. Kia thinks if Kasab talks and tells the truth

" perhaps prevent more young men from joining the terrorist groups. I am open to this possibility and would be willing to have this conversation with him".

Is the death sentence justified in cases like this one? Do you agree with this article?

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