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Pay for the crime; not literally!
Blood money is a common practice that is endorsed by a number of Nations as an alternative to the conventional judicial system. It’s time other countries too consider this alternative for the victim’s family

The debate around blood money is very much relevant to the legal process, as it diminishes the utmost objective of law that aims to protect society from crimes. However, the practice of blood money, where out of court monetary settlements are made by the accused with the kith and kin of the victim, is omnipresent.

In July 2011, the death penalty against 17 Indian youths for killing a Pakistani in a fight over alcohol bootlegging in 2009 was waived by the Sharjah Appeals court after an Indian businessman agreed to pay Rs.40 million as blood money on their behalf. American Central Investigation Agency contractor Raymond Davis was also pardoned from the charge of killing two Pakistanis in January 2011 after the families of the victims agreed to a whopping blood money deal of around Rs.60 million.

Several countries believe that blood money is more apt rather than ‘an eye for an eye’ perspective. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan have enacted laws for Qisas and Diyat a.k.a blood money. In Japan, it is very common to give money (read: blood money) or mimaikin to the sufferer’s family or next to kin. The Korean legal system also practises blood money (hapuigeum), even for serious crimes like rape, under certain conditions. Somali people follow a customary law, Xeer (a polycentric legal system developed indigenously), which waives punishment to the offender on issue of blood money to the family of the victim for crimes like theft, rape and murder.

Blood money doesn’t compensate for the loss of life. For that matter, neither does capital punishment. But employing the former clearly allows the victim’s family the choice of deciding what they consider more important – capitalistic redemption or a moral one.

By:- Amir Hossain

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