Mumbai Attacks Gunman Convicted

May 3, 2010

Update, 5/7/2010: The trial judge has ordered the execution of Ajmal Qasab.  My hope is that his sentence is commuted because executing Qasab is simply a form of revenge.

The sole surviving member of the squad responsible for the deaths of 174 (almost all civilians) people in downtown Mumbai in late November 2008 was convicted of murder, although two of his alleged associates were acquitted of the charges.  A court was created in Maharashtra (the state were Mumbai is located) to prosecute these cases and this case was the culmination of year long prosecution that had numerous hiccups along the way.  In India, the various states (somewhat like the United States) are responsible for dealing with matters of human rights, criminal prosecution and more generally, internal security.

When Amnesty International calls for justice for the victims of human rights violations, this is an example of what we would like to see.  A fair trial even for someone like Ajmal Amir Qasab is essential to furthering human rights throughout India and throughout the world.  Countries around the world should use the trial of Qasab as a model for how justice can be meted out for gross violations of human rights such as these terrorist actions.

I would urge the trial judge to not impose the death penalty.