Buddhism and the Death Penalty
Posted in the Buddhism Forum
#1 Jan 29, 2013
The 5 precepts are about serving justice...
What are your views concerning the death penalty?
Dalai Lama Says Delhi Gang Rapists Should Not Be Executed, Death Penalty Not The Answer
by Meredith Bennett-Smith, The Huffington Post, Jan 24, 2013
Jaipur, India -- One of the world's most respected spiritual leaders has asked that mercy be shown in the case of the men accused of last month's brutal gang rape and murder of a woman on a bus in New Delhi.
<< The Dalai Lama, left, listens to one of his biographers, Pico Iyer at one of the sessions on the opening day of India's Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, India, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. The Dalai Lama said he thiks the men accused in the Delhi rape case should not be hanged.(AP Photo/Deepak Sharma)
During a panel discussion this week at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama touched on the controversial trial that began Thursday in the bustling Indian city.
The five men on trial could be hanged if they are convicted, according to the Associated Press. The family of the 23-year-old victim, who succumbed to her injuries two weeks after the attack, have called for the execution of all the accused. But the Dalai Lama, during his appearance at the Jaipur festival, demurred.
I do not like the death sentence, he said, adding that there are other ways to deal with the alleged perpetrators, according to English-language Indian news outlet the Hindu.
The Hindu went on to write that "the Dalai Lama said the 21 century belonged to dialogue and not to confrontation or violence."
The Tibetan leader has been a steadfast opponent of the death penalty, which contradicts the Buddhist philosophy of nonviolence. In July 2011, the Dalai Lama, then 76 years old, traveled to Chicago, where he praised Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn for abolishing the death penalty in his state.
The Delhi rape case has sparked debate over the Indian legal system, and public anger has been directed at officials in a city informally christened India's "rape capital," according to Reuters.
A Indian government panel this week dismissed calls to allow the death penalty to be considered in cases of sexual assault, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The panel's decision does not have bearing on the Delhi case, as the suspects are also accused of murder, a charge that can carry the death penalty.
#2 Jan 29, 2013
It's not really necessary to give them death penalty, castration and 55 years in prison is fine. That is to keep the public safe from them. If the government worry about having to feed too many for so many years, then give them work to do in prison so they produce something .
There are also monks who volunteer to teach dharma and meditation in prison. This can contribute to cleansing their mind . This way their chances of continuing with the same tendencies might decrease dramatically after they die or reborn .
#3 Jan 30, 2013
To a certain extent all of society is responsible for the decay of society which leads to such evil acts.
The death penalty exacerbates this cycle of violence.
However, monks should be helping grieving law abiding families and helping them overcome their grief and anger before helping criminals.
How wise was Buddha...Although Buddha saved him from Aeons of torments in hells, he did not protect him from the anger of those whose families had suffered in this life.
Justice must be served. He had killed 999 people-- Buddha let the public take care of the injustice.
#4 Jan 30, 2013
Of course I was referring to Angulimala.
Buddha in no way let Angulimala get away without punishment.
#5 Jan 30, 2013
No doubt that the loss of the grieving family is great . The punishment should also involves compensating for them in every way possible. The rapist's property should be confiscated and given to the family of the victim . The gangrapist's have taken something very precious and priceless from the family that no amount of money can compare. That is why people in the community should do all they can to protect each other and prevent something like this from ever happening, much less allowing it to become a common occurrence in certain places . We are dealing with something very sad and detrimental !
#6 Jan 31, 2013
The problem is the lack of control and the horrible attitude of men in northern India.
After the rape there have been more restrictions placed on the women.
What changes the average human mind from being a law abiding citizen to a criminal--how come certain people never rape or kill another human for gain?
What makes humans break the precepts?
#7 Jan 31, 2013
I believe many rapists have not learned the precepts or their parents don't place enough emphasis on the importance of precepts. A lot of it has to do with past conditionings and upbringing.
There is mention of attempts to " order all schoolgirls to wear overcoats to "protect them". This reminds me of the situation in a Muslim country where guys are allowed free reign or at least feel justified and entitled to sexually harass women that don't wear a hijab regardless whether she is a Muslim or not. There , sexual harassment and gangrape is being used as a tactic to threaten or pressure people that they better become Muslim ( or obey Muslims rule) or else.
Some wanted to " ban the mobile phones use by the schoolgirls saying they are dangerous for the society and corrupting local cultures". This also brings to mind a recent news about a jihadist and his wife went to join a jihad in a Muslim packed country. There , his wife misses mobile phones because women are not allowed to use mobile phones.
Personally, I believe women should have a mobile phone with them . It is very helpful in case of emergency. For example , if a girl feels like someone is following her she can immediately call someone. If she is stranded somewhere , she can immediately connect with a family member. Cellular phone can be a helpful tool for safety .
More energy should be dedicated to tracking down rapists and make sure they know the consequence or result of their actions, transforming the country into a place where women feel safer to go around rather than feel even more fearful to live and move about. I believe the purpose of the public protest was to push for more safety for women rather than more fear for women.
The above restrictions only make women feel more fearful for their safety when moving about and teaches rapists to feel that their actions are justified or that they are entitled to rape and abuse women who don't act or dress a certain way.
Instead of more restrictions to limit the freedom of women, there should more moral education for men from a young age. A neighborhood watch network should be formed in every village, encouraging everyone to keep an eye out for rapists so that they can immediately take action if they notice it. Mobile phones can be used to connect and notify. The goal is to increase the feeling of safety and freedom for women when they go about their lives, by tackling , restricting , and decreasing rapists in the country at large.
#8 Feb 1, 2013
Unfortunately, in the case of the gang rape the mobile phone were snatched from the victim.
Training men and women on precepts and the horrible results of breaking them should be taught. Women too are not free from immorality- they raise such sons and weak daughters.
When Indians who never heard of what Lord Buddha taught hear of the Buddhist precepts and how we train everyday, many want to become Buddhist then and there!
The precepts give moral certainty in a world often guided by self determined moral relativity. It has a HUGE beneficial effect in stabilizing the mind.
Buddhists should spread the practice of precepts, just like Lord Buddha taught.
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