What About the Children?

Here's some more fuel both for people who think we need to be protected from ideas and people opposed to the death penalty:

Two Children Die Imitating Rare Execution Wed Aug 25, 2004 08:29 AM ET

BOMBAY (Reuters) - India's first execution in 13 years has claimed an additional toll of at least two children dead in mishaps as they re-enacted the highly publicized hanging of a man convicted of raping and murdering a schoolgirl.

Two weeks ago, 41-year-old Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged in the eastern city of Calcutta after 13 years on death row.

On Sunday, 14-year-old Prem Gaekwad died when he tied one end of a rope around his neck and swung the other end on a ceiling fan in his Bombay home, in an apparent re-enactment.

"The boy's father told us Prem was a very bright but curious kid and kept asking questions about how Dhananjoy would be hanged," said assistant police inspector Dilip Suryawanshi.

"Dhananjoy was the top news on all TV channels for so many days and Prem would watch very closely."

Last week, a 12-year-old girl died in the eastern state of West Bengal, when she tried to demonstrate for her younger brother how Chatterjee was executed, newspapers said.

And a 10-year-old boy in the same state almost died last week when he and his friends acted out the execution, taking the roles of Chatterjee, the hangman, a doctor and the prison warden.

"Children have a natural curiosity about anything out of the ordinary," psychiatrist Anjali Chhabria told Reuters. "Also, several newspapers and TV channels had given detailed sketches of execution by hanging, making it easier for kids to imitate."

When will the media learn that information kills? And when will states learn that killing only leads to more killing?

posted by Dennis on 08.25.04 at 04:30 PM


Sorry, but that doesn't convince me that anything's wrong with the death penalty so much as the public spectacle surrounding it. Shall we ban matches since children are so curious as to play with them, or should we simply put them up on a shelf out of reach?


Pietro   ·  August 25, 2004 4:38 PM

The question at the end was sarcastic. But others are already asking them seriously.

Dennis   ·  August 26, 2004 11:09 AM

Tragic, but I think executions should be made public. If we vote for the death penalty, or for war, or for abortion, we should see what it is we are voting for. We meat-eaters should recognize that we are feating on the flesh of slain animals. (I like it that way.)

"We must either face the things we do or leave off doing them."
-G. K. Chesterton

Few truer words have ever been written.

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