In recent times there have been a number of articles about the death penalty. The majority of writers have expressed their total opposition to this form of punishment.
However all of these people have completely missed their focus.
What the President stated was that he wanted to implement the death penalty for those presently serving jail sentences for drug trafficking and WHO ARE CARRYING ON THIS TRADE FROM THEIR PRISON CELLS.
Many of the articles which have appeared in your paper refer to persons executed for murder, and who, in very rare cases, have later been found to be innocent. This miscarriage of justice is indeed sad and arguments for the abolition of the death penalty is very reasonable.
But what the President referred to was drug traffickers now in prison and STILL CARRYING ON THEIR despicable TRADE. Here there is no danger of the wrong person being executed.
Today drug trafficking is rampant in this country and youth, even school children are being lured into this habit. Lives are ruined and some have died
Today drug trafficking is rampant in this country and youth, even school children are being lured into this habit. Lives are ruined and some have died. Take the case of the two British rugby players and the more recent case in Wadduwa. Parents have been threatened and even blackmailed by their own children to obtain money for drugs. Wives have been harassed, beaten and abused by their drug addicted husbands who demand money.
Letters have also questioned the laxity of the supervision of jail guards and accused them of aiding and abetting the drug traffickers. But the fact is that these are not just ordinary drug traffickers - they are drug lords with their own evil underworld empire. What they do is to threaten the lives of the prison guards and their families, if they do not obey them. Naturally the prison guards through fear do, as the drug lords command them to do so. For these drug lords, drug trafficking and murder go hand in hand. They will not be deterred by any jail term to carry on their trade. They do not feel any remorse for the evil they do.
Now let those who talk about the sanctity of human life and demand the non-implementation of the death penalty for drug trafficking also consider the sanctity of the lives of the victims who have become addicted to drugs because of their easy availability. Are not the lives of those who are addicted to drugs and whose lives have been consequently ruined also precious. Thousands of addicts are in this sad plight because of a few pernicious, evil-minded persons.
How can the drug trafficking menace be minimized?
The fact is that a jail term is not an effective deterrent. Drug traffickers must be punished. If the death penalty is too abhorrent, then give these drug traffickers lashes! Mr. President, do something. Go ahead and implement the death penalty as you promised or give them lashes. For the sake of future generations do something to eradicate this country from the drug menace.
W. S. Wijesundara
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