Should Rape Be Treated Like Other Crimes ?

Article by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha on how incentives matter, with special reference to commuting death sentence to lifer for rapist, crop up few points in the mind. The author writes: The death penalty for rape could create perverse incentives for rapists to murder their victims.

Does punishment dictate nature and severity of crime ?. Logically, the harsher the punishment, more deterrent it is. But in rape-cum-murder cases and even about other crimes, this logic is far from reality.

Whether rapist should be served with lifer or death is an issue of importance at par with how the society treat rape as a crime.

The record suggests, in most cases rapists kill victim. Contrary, in other crimes like robbery, chain snatching or economic offences, rate of culprits killing the sufferer is extremely low.

The perpetrators, having satisfied with their sexual desire, are often led by fear of getting caught. That fear drive them kill the victims, suggests confessions made by arrested rapists. Actually, murder after rape does not reduce chances of culprits’ arrest compared to when rapist abandon her without killing.

So then why rapist still prefers killing victim even though his primary intention is to meet sexual desire. ? I guess, the fear in rapist mind is more due to the possibly outcry because society apply different parameters to rape than other crimes.

I doubt if Rapist, once through with his first act, even think of incentives pertaining to the punishment and then decides whether to kill the victim, as pointed out by Rajadhyaksha. It is possibly the other way in which rapist after rape ceases to think under impression that outcry over the incident may land him into bigger trouble. The often seen outcome is then the murder of victim.

One possible way out to reduce rate of murders in rape cases can be society and her kin start treating victim equally as normal with the changed perception that rape is not the end of the road. And of course, to change that perception, start can be sentencing rapists with lifer than death.


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