The Lok Sabha did well to pass a Bill on Monday seeking to provide the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls aged below 12 years. While we support the Bill against Rape without any reservations, it is important to get down to the question of why there should not be a law to provide the death penalty to anyone convicted of rape regardless of the age of the victim. Whether any country should retain the death penalty for any crime is an issue that is being debated all over the world. However, the question now is confined mainly to the issue of what crimes are considered heinous enough to merit a death sentence in countries that have retained the death sentence for one reason or another. There are some countries that have not retained the death sentence even for crimes like murder. There are naturally good reasons to ask why any country should retain the death sentence and yet exclude rape from the ambit of the death sentence. The question arises quite naturally from the fact that a country should have retained the death sentence and yet chosen to exempt a crime like rape from the list of crimes that attract the death sentence. This logically leads us to the question as to what determines the gravity of the crime that justifies the death sentence. There can be no doubts about murder and rape being the most heinous of crimes that actually deserve the most serious sentences conceivable. Our concern should be about other crimes that lead to less drastic sentences and leave the wrong-doer alive. What measures can we contemplate that will lead such criminals to give up the crimes they habitually commit because none of them lead to death sentences? We have the responsibility of directing criminals away from crimes that do not result in death sentences, but nevertheless make our planet a much worse place to live in.