10 October is observed as the world day against death penalty across the world. This event was started by the World Coalition against Death Penalty in 2003. The theme chosen for the year 2009 by the world coalition is educating the youngsters regarding death penalty.
India continues to be one of the minority nations which continues with death penalty and also carries out the executions. A look at some of the figures on death sentences show that in last 2 years the number of cases in which death sentence has been awarded by the lower courts have increased. Though the higher judiciary has over turned several death sentences and commuted them to life imprisonment, the trend is disturbing. Also in some of the recent cases the apex court has commuted the death sentences with the order that the person should not be released prematurely and also should not be given the benefits of parole and furlough. These directions are clearly invading decision making power of the government, wherein they would decide each individual case on its own merit whether to grant parole and furlough or not.
Though there have been no executions after Dhananjoy Chatterjee, the mercy petitions of the persons have been pending for decades and the fate of all the persons on death row hangs in balance.
There is also need for a comprehensive policy on sentencing in India. Today the penal code of the country tells what's the maximum or the minimum sentence for the crime, and all the discretion has been given to the judge. There are various factors that come into play and should be considered while sentencing a person. In the absence of a comprehensive sentencing policy all is left to the judiciary.
In the changing world wherein the Indian Government wants to play a major role in the south Asian region its high time that India follows the example of its neighbours like Nepal and abolishes death penalty at the earliest. In the present legal system, many a times the rich accused get away while the poor get convicted. The same is true about death sentence. Majority of the prisoners on death row are extremely poor.
Retaining death penalty and executing persons is against the basic values of a democratic nation.
India should lead by example in south east Asia and declare a moratorium on all the execution till the laws are amended and death penalty is abolished.
- Abolish Death Penalty India
- The idea behind this blog is to collect information on the death penalty in India and make it accessible. We are trying our best to put the latest information on the people who are currently on death row, the status of their cases, their mercy petitions and also the information on any death sentence across the country. Please feel free to write us and give us your suggestions and comments and also any information you have come across regarding the death penalty in India. Our email id is firstname.lastname@example.org The blog is currently managed by Grace Pelly, Lara Jesani, Nitu Sanadhya, Rebecca Gonsalvez, Reena Mary George and Vijay Hiremath. Kindly mark copies of the emails to: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org