This is with reference to a recent demand put forth by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) to abolish the death penalty in Pakistan. It is very disturbing to know that such a step is being considered because removal of the death penalty would give criminals and murderers a free reign. The problem is not with the death penalty itself but rather with its issuance and the extreme leniency shown in its application. That, sometimes, lets loose the most dangerous of criminals because of their contacts in government. This, in turn, creates insecurity amongst the general public while giving a stronger sense of power to the murderers. For example, just a few months ago, a man in Russia known as 'the chess murderer' killed 64 people before he was awarded a life sentence. No one, absolutely no one, would agree that he deserved this sort of leniency. He definitely deserved the death penalty. Letting loose criminals like him encourages other wrong-headed people to carry out similar acts. -UROOBA ALAM, Karachi, via e-mail, October 19.