Oct 13, 2010, 1:04 PM
Justice Moses Richards' determination to put an end to the increasing cases of rape and murder in society is commendable. He is quoted to have said that he would not show leniency on any one found guilty of the offences of rape and murder. Rape and murder, he said, are so rampant in society because his court hears them almost on a daily basis. This is alarming. His solution is that "he would not waste any time in handing down the maximum sentence on a convict until such a time that the menace is completely eradicated".
It is on record that he has kept to his words. The whole idea of handing down the maximum sentence on a convict of murder or rape is to serve as a deterrent to others. Naturally, people tend to desist from an act if they know that there is a high price to pay. Spending the rest of one's life in jail, for instance, just because of an instant gratification of the flesh is enough to set any sensible person thinking twice about committing such an act. It works in most cases. Apparently, not everybody is sensible enough to learn from the mistakes of others, hence these offences are still committed at a frightening rate.
Something has to be done about it. First of all, the Ministry of Justice should set up a commission to investigate the rape and murder question in our society. The terms of reference for the commission should help to get to the root of the problems. Once we know the causes - social, economic, psychological - then we can formulate remedial actions to tackle them more decisively.
Without pre-empt to the work of the proposed commission, we would like to recommend that we should step up our spiritual values and apply them in our daily conduct. If we get our spiritual values right, it will be a lot easier to control the baser instincts that lead to crime and misconduct in society. Every religion condemns murder, just as every religion frowns on rape. Inculcating and reinforcing these values in our people is an important step towards eradicating crime from society.
"The fear of one evil often leads us into a greater one".
Nicolas Boileau- Despreaux