DEATH PENALTY AND DEATH SQUADS
Criminal elements do not fear death penalty anymore but they reckon death squads. Criminal justice administration has come to this situation when national laws are ignored, oftentimes disregarded but never the local ones. The tragic part, however, in this practical approach by local town vigilance is the bias if not subjectivity of the action imposed.
For the last several years since death penalty has been technically abolished, there was an upsurge of heinous crimes. Or, so it seems although there is no study yet that would correlate the issues.
To date, like any other in the past, the crime situation is incremental though. Rape is almost a daily occurrence. Murder in broad daylight is conducted with utmost impunity. Plunder of government resources is a career high preoccupation. Robbery, thievery, hostage situations, kidnapping, drug dealing, car napping, human trafficking, every conceivable crime is front-page material and its commission defies reason.
According to law enforcement bulletin, the increase in crime is attributed to the confidence of complainants to seek assistance from police. Whatever, crime and its horrendous implications are there to see. And victims are found a cut within the cross section of the broad society.
If these are signs of times then maybe the end of the world is near. But that is easily said, quipped and made as a lazy supposition. Social scientists would rather have a proximate understanding of this situation. Rightly so, there is something wrong with governance and perhaps some defects somewhere pointing at the direction of social or political immaturity. It is also a direct denunciation on leaders who cannot decide on the spot, especially on how to rectify the blight condition obtaining in their respective turf.
Detention and eventually incarceration have lost its sting already. Mostly, those penalized with imprisonment are those who were poorly defended and incompetently handled during the trial. Only those with means can secure a properly represented cause to obtain justice.
In the determination of guilt, more so, for those who committed heinous offenses, instant justice cannot effectively be promulgated. It is the slow, at times perceived as sluggish process of litigation, that takes the genuine response of what justice should mean. But that is what due process is all about. It is allowing the entire truth to be unfolded in a crawling matter, as they say in law, in its determination of “proof beyond reasonable ground.”
The debate continues whether there is wisdom in the re-imposition of death penalty or simply, an informal arrangement between local leaders to pursue an honest to goodness cleansing operation within their respective loops. The only problem with informal arrangements, while immediately concluded, is that the exercise would depend largely on the integrity of person carrying out a very sensitive mission.
There is danger of abuse; there is even the possibility of error, exploitation and mishandling. Such extra legal acts are oftentimes fraught with numerous inaccuracies and miscalculations. The effect is graver than that which it ought to resolve. But it is the only option in the pursuit of effective peace and order.
In the final analysis, it is the selection or choice of local leadership that matters. It is not a policy direction on which approach to undertake, legislated or not. It is plain leadership.