Dinesh D'Souza Sad People Aren't Shot For Throwing Paint On Statues Like They Are In India

History Facts

Convicted-but-laughably-pardoned felon Dinesh D'Souza is very fond of making up his own facts. He's made a living making up his own facts or just being stupidly wrong, particularly about history. If I had to list all of the historical things Dinesh D'Souza has been wrong about, I would be making lists for a long time. Just assume he's wrong about everything.

In keeping with that tradition, D'Souza—furious over someone throwing some paint on a statue of George Washington—tweeted on Sunday that, if someone were to douse a statue with paint in India, that person would be shot. As if, you know, that was the kind of thing he'd really like to see done here.

Weird flex, but OK.

Given that no one was injured in the painting of the statue, most of us would consider that a peaceful protest. Unless your idea of a peaceful protest is just "something that doesn't bother anyone or make any kind of statement whatsoever, and is, ideally, completely ineffective."


But sure! Let's have a chat about this, shall we? Because wow, if they are executing people in India for things like this, we should know. Because boy, that's a really terrible thing to do and almost definitely a violation of some kind of human rights treaty somewhere. You can't go around executing people for things like that.

So it's a good thing India does not do that. In fact, while India does have the death penalty, it has only executed nine people in the last 25 years. For comparison, the United States executed 22 people last year, and that was really good for us. Figuring out how many executions we've had in the last 25 years would be a pain in the ass and I am not even going to attempt it.

Graph of the many, many death sentences in the United States

Just figure there have been a lot of them. And despite this, we don't kill people for throwing paint on statues either.

Now, perhaps D'Souza is not referring to official executions, but to police officers. Sure! This, too, could happen. But while they do not have the death penalty in India for throwing paint on statues, they actually do have it for police officers who commit extrajudicial executions.

According to a 2011 NDTV article:

The Supreme Court on Monday said the police personnel involved in fake encounter killings should be given death sentence and hanged.

A bench comprising of Justice Markandeya Katju and Justice C K Prasad said as custodians of law they are expected to protect people and not eliminate them as contract killers.

"Fake encounter killings by cops are nothing but cold-blooded brutal murder which should be treated as the rarest of rare offence and police personnel responsible for it should be awarded death sentence. They should be hanged," Justice Katju, heading the bench, said.[...]

"If crimes are committed by ordinary people, ordinary punishment should be given but if the offence is committed by policemen, much harsher punishment should be given to them because they do an act totally contrary to their duties," the court observed.

Interesting.

Now, I sure do hate police brutality, but I actually can't imagine any scenario in which I would wistfully talk about people getting the death penalty for anything, including that one. It just feels dirty. I wouldn't even call for it for campaign finance fraud.

But maybe D'Souza is talking about armed vigilantes. This is possible, just like anything is possible, but it probably would be more illegal than throwing paint on a statue, just like pretty much anywhere else. If I had to hazard a guess, I would suspect that the place where one is most likely to get shot while throwing paint on a statue, I'd go with the good ol' United States of America.

It seems a little obvious to point out the irony of Dinesh D'Souza, professional historical revisionist, complaining about the "erasure" of history, while literally getting shit wrong about things that happen in the present day, here and elsewhere, but I guess I just did.

[NDTV]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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