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Capital Punishment in India – Should we do away with it?

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There is growing support for abolishing capital punishment in India and it needs serious consideration since, on the other side, there has been a nationwide outrage over the series of incidents of sexual assaults of minor girls , like the one in Kathua. The Supreme Court itself admitted on many occasions that there are confusion and contradiction on the application of the death penalty.

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This topic of “Capital Punishment in India – Should we do away with it?” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination , which falls under General Studies Portion.

What is capital punishment?

  • Capital punishment is the punishment which involves the legal killing of a person who has committed a serious crime such as murder.
  • The term Death Penalty is sometimes used interchangeably with Capital Punishment, even though the imposition of the death penalty is not always followed by execution due to the possibility of commutation to life imprisonment.

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What is the need for capital punishment? / Arguments in favour? / Why India still retains it?

should capital punishment be abolished in india essay

  • Capital punishment is an important instrument for preserving law and order, deterring crime and costs less than life imprisonment.
  • Retributive justice or “an eye for an eye” honours the victim, helps console grieving families and guarantees that the perpetrator never has an opportunity to cause future tragedy.
  • Death sentence serves as a deterrent for other criminals as well.
  • A guilty must be punished with respect to the severity of the crime. Murder and rape are very severe crimes = death penalty must be imposed on such crimes.
  • The death penalty is needed in law books to contain terrorism. It forms part of the national response against terrorist activities.
  • The death penalty provides much-needed closure for the victims’ families.

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What are the arguments against the death penalty?

should capital punishment be abolished in india essay

  • There is no sufficient evidence to prove that the death penalty is any more effective in reducing crime than imprisonment. Notably, Brutal rapes in India have not decreased despite the enforcement of the Criminal law (Amendment) Act, 2013 which prescribes the death penalty and life imprisonment for sexual assaults that result in the victim dead or being reduced to a persistent vegetative state.
  • It gives arbitrary power to the government for taking a human life = violation of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution.
  • It aggravates social injustices by targeting people who cannot afford good lawyers.
  • Lifetime jail sentences are more severe and less expensive punishment than death.
  • Human rights activists argue that it is inhumane and barbaric to sentence the criminals with the death penalty.
  • The death penalty is like murdering criminals as revenge. What if the perpetrator has also murdered a person for revenge? = Imposing the death penalty makes the government as well as the citizens murderers.
  • Death sentence violates international human rights laws.
  • As the death sentence is irrevocable, an innocent person can also be wrongly executed.
  • There is no uniform and fair principle on the execution of convicts on death row.
  • There are 3 major objectives of punishment i.e., retribution, reformation, and deterrence. The theory of reformation is based on the obligation of society to reform a convicted person. But this objective will be entirely defeated in case of capital punishment since the offender does not continue to live.
  • It reduces the chances of survival of the victim. For example, the death penalty would motivate rapists to do more harm to the victims.
  • The populist death penalty solution to curb sexual violence is highly patriarchal which overemphasize the sexual aspect of the assault and strengthen the stigma associated with rape.
  • As per the law commission report, around 76% of death row prisoners were from poor, backward classes and religious minorities. And when cases move up on higher levels of courts, the percentage of general category prisoners fell and the percentage of SC and ST prisoners increased. This is discriminatory and against the principle of the right to equality and Equal protection of Law . *

What is the evolution of the death penalty in India?

  • The death penalty remained as the normal punishment for murder during the first 5 years after the constitution was made (1950).
  • It was changed in 1955 when a choice was given to sessions judges to award either of the two sentences for murder i.e., capital punishment or life imprisonment.
  • Accordingly, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was amended in 1973 by which Parliament declared that special reasons shall be given by the Sessions judge if she decided to impose the death penalty on the convicted person.
  • Later on, in the Bachan Singh vs. State of Punjab case 1980, SC ruled that death penalty could be imposed only in “rarest of rare cases” in which the life imprisonment cannot be imposed.
  • Murder is committed in an extremely brutal manner = aroused extreme outrage of the community.
  • Murder is committed with a motive of expressing total degeneracy and meanness.
  • The crime is enormous in proportion.

What are the protections against capital punishment under the constitution?

  • Article 21 – It provides the right to life for citizens and gives them protection not only against executive actions but also against the legislation.
  • Article 72 – President can pardon even the death sentence, while the governor cannot under Article 161. Even when the pardon was denied to a death row criminal, there is scope for judicial review if the presidential decision is arbitrary, irrational and discriminatory.
  • Article 134 – Under this, the right to appeal the high court verdict in the Supreme Court in any case where capital punishment was imposed on an accused in the reversal of acquittal order.
  • Hence the treatment of death row convicts has been humanized under the constitution itself.

What is the way forward?

Issues which need to be addressed

  • Delay in police action: Unwarranted delay by police in filing missing person complaints and registering written complaints of sexual assault survivors is one of the major factors for the rising number of crimes without any deterrence.
  • Insensitive agencies: Many sexual harassment cases tend to come under the media spotlight only in extreme cases, such as the one where a child, after being sexually assaulted and left bleeding, was kept waiting for hours at a civil hospital in March 2018.
  • Low conviction rate: It is the main reason that contributes to the culpability of rapists and nurtures the growing impunity with which sexual crimes are committed. This reality is well captured in National Crime Records Bureau data that unveils high figures of repeat sexual offenders.
  • Hence India’s growing rape culture is best reversed by improving conviction rates via reforms in the police and judicial systems, and by increasing measures to rehabilitate and empower rape survivors. The government should allocate more resources towards establishing fast-track courts, more one-stop crisis centres, proper witness protection, more expansive compensation for rape survivors and the overhaul of current child protection services.

Improving sex ratio

India’s murder rate has declined constantly since 1961 and is at present the lowest in our recorded history except for 1963. Studies prove that a more equal sex ratio resulted in a declining murder rate than capital punishments.

Abolishing the death penalty

  • Although the Law Commission recommended the abolition of the death penalty for ordinary crimes, activists argue for abolishing it altogether.
  • Abolishing the death penalty will also save the long-term litigation involved in murder cases.
  • It is high time that the Supreme Court decide whether the lack of political will for the abolition of the death penalty is enough ground to violate the right to life guaranteed under Article 21.

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  • Capital Punishment Essay

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Essay on Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment is the execution of a person given by the state as a means of Justice for a crime that he has committed. It is a legal course of action taken by the state whereby a person is put to death as a punishment for a crime. There are various methods of capital punishment in order to execute a criminal such as lethal injection, hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, etc. Based on moral and humanitarian grounds, capital punishment is subjected to many controversies not only at the national level but also at the global platform. One must understand the death sentence by itself.

Many records of various civilizations and primal tribal methods denote that the death penalty was a part of their justice system. The system of the prison was evolved to keep people in confinement for some time who have done wrong in their life and was harmful to society. The idea behind keeping the criminal in the prison was to give them a chance to change and reform themselves. The idea works well with people who have done minor offences like theft, robbery, etc. A complication arises when grievous offences like brutal and inhumane acts of rape, murder, mass killing, etc. are involved. So, the contentious part is the grimness of the crime, which is the deciding reason for execution. 

During the 20th century period, millions of people died in the wars between the nations or states. In this violent period, military organizations practised capital punishment as a way of maintaining discipline. The death penalty was employed for crimes in many religious beliefs and historically was practised widely with the support of religious hierarchies. Today, there is no religious faith attached to the morality of capital punishment. It has been left to the discretion of the judiciary system to award the punishment in special circumstances. 

Most people feel that punishment for crimes like murders, rapes, and mass killings should not be death but some reformative or preventive sentence. The death penalty cannot reform a criminal, since once dead he cannot be reformed. Some people hold the view that no one has the right to take away anyone’s life for any reason. One should not take the role of God in taking away anybody’s life. At the same time, a criminal has no right to take away anyone’s life for any reason at all. If a person could go to an extent of taking someone’s life, he too has no right to live in a civilized society. Both the arguments can be cited to support viewpoints that are poles apart. 

Mankind has coined a large number of methods of capital punishment:

hanging by the rope until a person breathes his last.

death by electric current.

the murderer faces a firing squad.

the offender is beheaded and executed.

the culprit is poisoned.

the offender is stoned to death.

he is burnt alive at the stake.

the criminal is made to drown.

the criminal is thrown before hungry beasts of prey.

death through crucifixion.

Guillotine.

the offender is thrown into a poisonous gas chamber.

Methods can be different but all of these methods have one thing common and that is capital punishment is barbaric in all forms. It is savage and vindictive. It is a relic of an uncivilized era. Many people say that the methods by which executions are carried out involve physical torture. Contrary to the popular belief that the death penalty deters all future crimes, various surveys have shown that the threat of the death penalty does not in any way reduce the occurrence of violent crimes. 

Capital Punishment in India

Capital punishment in India does not come with a single stoke. The practice of Capital punishment is not very common in India. In our country, the Court of Session awards a death sentence according to the gravity of the offence, and this verdict requires confirmation by the High Court. Then an appeal can be made to the Supreme Court of India. In some cases, an appeal to the Supreme Court lies as a matter of right, where the High Court has reversed the verdict of the Sessions Court either into acquittal or punishment or has enhanced the sentence to capital punishment. 

Lastly, if needed an appeal can be made to the president of India and the governors of states for mercy. The President is solely guided by the notes in the files by the Home Minister or the Secretariat. He is bound to pen down the reasons for mercy. It is exercised very judiciously. 

Contemplating over capital punishment has been ramping on for a countless number of years. It is true that the death sentence is not the solution to the increase in crimes but at the same time, capital punishment inflicts physiological fear in the minds of people. In many countries, the use of this punishment has helped to deter crimes and change the minds of future criminals against committing heinous crimes. Capital punishment should be given in the rare of the rarest cases after proper investigation of the criminal’s offence. 

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FAQs on Capital Punishment Essay

Q1. What Do You Understand By Capital Punishment?

Ans. Capital Punishment is the execution of a person given by the state as a means of Justice for a crime that he has committed. It is a legal course of action taken by the state whereby a person is put to death as a punishment for a crime. There are quite a few methods of capital punishment to execute a criminal such as lethal injection, hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, etc.

Q2. Why Do Some People Argue Against Capital Punishment?

Ans. Some people argue against capital punishment because they hold the view that no one other than God has the right to take anyone’s life. They argue that criminals should get a chance to change or reform themselves into good and responsible human beings. If they are executed, then they cannot be reformed.

Q3. What are Some Methods that Mankind has Coined for Capital Punishment?

Ans. Mankind has coined various methods of capital punishment:

the criminal is burnt alive at the stake.

the offender is thrown before hungry beasts of prey.

Q4. Does Capital Punishment Deter the Rate of Crimes?

Ans. There is no solid evidence to the theory of capital punishment that it reduces the crime rate but yes it does instil psychological fear in the minds of future criminals against committing heinous crimes.

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Capital Punishment, Mercy Pleas and the Supreme Court

Last updated on August 7, 2023 by Alex Andrews George

capital punishment

Capital punishment remains and will remain a hot topic across the world. It is not easy to reach a consensus on the question ” Should the death penalty be abolished?”.

Some countries abolished Capital Punishment. Some countries did not. India is one of the countries where the death penalty exists, but now only for the “rarest of rare cases”.

Let’s see in this article, the major issues and news related to capital punishment and the judiciary. Don’t forget to come back to visit this post again as we normally update our articles when SC passes any new observations or guidelines.

Table of Contents

Capital Punishment in India: Overview

India retains capital punishment for several serious offenses. But the imposition of capital punishment is not always followed by execution (even when it is upheld on appeal), because of the possibility of commutation to life imprisonment. The number of people executed in India since independence in 1947 is a matter of dispute; official government statistics claim that only about 60 people had been executed since independence.

However, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties cited information from Appendix 34 of the 1967 Law Commission of India report showing that 1,422 executions took place in 16 Indian states from 1953 to 1963, and has suggested that the total number of executions since independence may be as high as 3,000 to 4,300.

In December 2007, India voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty. In November 2012, India again upheld its stance on capital punishment by voting against the UN General Assembly draft resolution seeking to ban the death penalty.

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Rarest of the rare case doctrine

Capital Punishment

There are various sections under IPC (302, 376A, etc) and other statutes that award capital punishment to the convict. But the Supreme Court of India ruled in 1983 that the death penalty should be imposed only in “the rarest of rare cases.”

While stating that honor killings fall within the “rarest of the rare” category, Supreme Court has recommended the death penalty be extended to those found guilty of committing “honor killings”, which deserve to be a capital crime.

The Supreme Court also recommended death sentences be imposed on police officials who commit police brutality in the form of encounter killings .

IPC 376A – Rape/Sexual Assault

An amendment in the year 2013 provided for the death penalty in case he inflicts an injury upon a woman during rape which causes her death or to be in a persistent vegetative state. The death penalty can also be handed down to repeat rape offenders under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, of 2013 .

Laws other than IPC for Capital Punishment

In addition to the Indian Penal Code, a series of legislation enacted by the Parliament of India have provisions for the death penalty.

  • Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987: Part. II, Section 4(1).
  • Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: Section 3(2)(i).
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act .

Clemency and Mercy Petition in the Indian Constitution

After the award of the death sentence by a sessions (trial) court, the sentence must be confirmed by a High Court to make it final. Once confirmed, the condemned convict has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court .

Where the condemned prisoner is unable to appeal to the Supreme Court ; or where the court either refuses to hear the appeal or upholds the death sentence, the prisoner also has the option of submitting a ‘mercy petition’ to the President of India and the Governor of the State .  

Who grants pardon?

Article 72(1) of the Constitution of India states:

The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence where the sentence is a sentence of death.

Despite the language of the constitutional provisions, clemency is exercised not by the President but by the government .

For all practical purposes, the decision on a mercy petition is arrived at within the MHA as the subject has been allocated to the Department of Home, MHA vide the second schedule of the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961. Once a convict submits a mercy petition to the President, the Rashtrapathi Bhavan forwards the petition to the Ministry of Home Affairs, for seeking the Cabinet’s advice on the matter.

The MHA then forwards the same to the concerned State Government for eliciting its views.

It is only then the MHA formulates its advice and tenders it to the President, on behalf of the Council of Ministers).

A memorandum on the case is prepared by a junior official in the Ministry and based on the same, a Joint Secretary or an Additional Secretary ‘recommends’ a decision to commute the death sentence or reject the mercy petition. This ‘recommendation’ is considered by the Minister of Home Affairs who makes the final ‘recommendation’, on behalf of the Cabinet of Ministers, to the President.

Article 74(1) provides the President with only one opportunity to return the ‘recommendation’ for the decision to be reviewed. If no change is made, the President has to sign his assent.

PS: The Constitution doesn’t have any maximum time limit within which a mercy petition has to be decided. There have been instances of mercy petitions lying with the President for over a decade without any decision being taken. The MHA can’t ask the President to speed up the process. Similarly, a mercy petition may get delayed at MHA or state level too.

Is everything over, once the President rejects the mercy petition and signs his assent?

Things are not over here.

There is still hope for the convict.

President’s pardon/rejection/delay is also subjected to judicial review . A delay in deciding mercy plea is a relevant ground for commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment. This is what happened in the recent Shatrughan Chauhan vs Union of India case .

The Supreme Court has also directed all prison authorities to give a gap of 14 days between intimation of the rejection of the mercy petition to the condemned prisoner and his actual execution. In this period, the convict can seek judicial redress of grievances against the rejection of a mercy plea. Also note that if the President grants an unfair pardon, SC can overrule it.

So the long route of capital punishment can be summarized as follows :

  • Trail court awards death sentence.
  • The high court confirms it.
  • Supreme Court confirms it on appeal.
  • Mercy petition filed to President of India.
  • The President of India forwards it to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Ministry of Home Affairs routes it to the state concerned.
  • The state lets MHA know its advice.
  • MHA forwards its recommendation to the President of India.
  • The President of India rejects that advice and asks MHA to reconsider it.
  • MHA submits its recommendation again.
  • The President of India signs it. Mercy is denied.
  • The convict can ask for a Judicial review.
  • The Judicial review verdict is final.

Highlights of recent SC judgment on Mercy Plea (Shatrughan Chauhan vs Union of India)

The following are the 12  guidelines issued by the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh on various procedures before executing a death convict.

  • Solitary Confinement: (only in the last 14 days)
  • Procedure for placing the mercy petition before the President:
  • Communication of Rejection of Mercy Petition by the Governor:
  • Communication of Rejection of the Mercy Petition by the President:
  • Death convicts are entitled to a right to receive a copy of the rejection of the mercy petition by the President and the Governor.
  • Minimum 14 days’ notice for execution:
  • Mental Health Evaluation:
  • Physical and Mental Health Reports:
  • Furnishing documents to the convict:
  • Final Meeting between the Prisoner and his Family:
  • Post Mortem Reports:

Extra articles related to capital punishment worth reading

  • The journey of a mercy plea – Indian Express.
  • How does the President decide mercy petitions?
  • Mercy plea is in the dock – India Today.
  • Capital Punishment – Wikipedia.

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About Alex Andrews George

Alex Andrews George is a mentor, author, and social entrepreneur. Alex is the founder of ClearIAS and one of the expert Civil Service Exam Trainers in India.

He is the author of many best-seller books like 'Important Judgments that transformed India' and 'Important Acts that transformed India'.

A trusted mentor and pioneer in online training , Alex's guidance, strategies, study-materials, and mock-exams have helped many aspirants to become IAS, IPS, and IFS officers.

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should capital punishment be abolished in india essay

E-Justice India

Capital punishment: pros and cons. when and why it can be justified.

Author :- Ayush Kumar Gupta

1. INTRODUCTION

India is a country which consists of large number of crimes and criminals. In India all punishments are based on the motive to give penalty for the wrongdoer. There are two main reasons for imposing the punishment, one is the wrongdoer should suffer and other one is imposing punishment on wrongdoers discourages other from doing wrong. In this paper I focused on capital punishment or death penalty. Capital Punishment is one of the important parts of Indian criminal justice system. Crimes result in death penalty is known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital punishment is derived from the Latin word “capitalis” means “regarding the head” Capital punishment is also known as the death penalty. Capital Punishment is a legal death penalty in India. India gives capital punishment for serious offences .In India capital punishment is awarded for most heinous and grievous offence. After the independent India has seen the hanging of 755 people until now. While in past three decade 16 convicts have been executed. Despite India’s stance on capital punishment the judiciary saves it for extreme violation of law. According to the article 21 of the Indian constitution, “no person shall be deprived of his life of personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. “Capital punishment has always been point of contention in the judiciary, not only in India but also in the most developed countries. . India voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a prohibition on the death penalty . In November 2012, India again continues its posture on capital punishment by voting against the UN General Assembly draft resolution request to ban death penalty. Section 53 of the IPC deals with the kinds of punishment which can be inflicted on the offenders. They are as follow: Death penalty, life imprisonment etc. Thus generally speaking, IPC gives much sentencing discretion to the judicial officer.

2. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN INDIA

Capital punishment is an ancient sanction. There is practically no country in the world where the death penalty has never existed. Human civilization reveals that during no period of time capital punishment has been described as a mode of punishment. At independence, India retained several laws put in place by the British colonial government, which included the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (‘Cr.P.C. 1898’), and the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’). The IPC prescribed six punishments that could be imposed under the law, including death.

For offences where the death penalty was an option, Section 367(5) of the Cr.P.C 1898 required courts to record reasons where the court decided not to impose a sentence of death:

If the accused is convicted of an offence punishable with death, and the court sentences him to any punishment other than death, the court shall in its judgment state the reason why sentence of death was not passed.

In 1955, the Parliament repealed Section 367(5), Cr.P.C 1898, significantly altering the position of the death sentence. The death penalty was no longer the norm, and courts did not need special reasons for why they were not imposing the death penalty in cases where it was a prescribed punishment.

The Code of Criminal Procedure was re-enacted in 1973 (‘Cr.P.C’), and several changes were made, notably to Section 354(3):

When the conviction is for an offence punishable with death or, in the alternative, with imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term of years, the judgment shall state the reasons for the sentence awarded and, in the case of sentence of death, the special reasons for such sentence.

This was a significant modification from the situation following the 1955 amendment (where terms of imprisonment and the death penalty were equal possibilities in a capital case), and a reversal of the position under the 1898 law (where death sentence was the norm and reasons had to be recorded if any other punishment was imposed). Now, judges needed to provide special reasons for why they imposed the death sentence.

These amendments also introduced the possibility of a post-conviction hearing on sentence, including the death sentence, in Section 235(2), which states:

If the accused is convicted, the Judge shall, unless he proceeds in accordance with the provisions of section 360, hear the accused on the question of sentence, and then pass sentence on him according to law. [4]

3. TYPES OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

In this topic, I am going to discuss the various methods of punishments that are used in the different countries. But, before that let’s talk about the capital punishment that people used in the past. Earlier, the capital punishments are more like torture rather than a death penalty. They used to strain and punish the body of the culprit to the extreme that he/she dies because of the pain and fear of torture. Besides modern method are quicker and less painful than the traditional method.

1. Electrocution – In this method, the criminal is tied to a chair and a high voltage current that can kill a man easily is passed through the body. In addition, it causes organ failure (especially heart). As of 2015 , the only place in the world that still reserve the electric chair as an option for execution are U.S. States of Alabama, Florida etc.

2. Tranquilization – This method gives the person a slow but painless death as the toxin injections are injected into his body that takes up to several hours for the criminal to die.

3. Beheading – Generally, the Arab and Gulf countries use this method. Where they decide the death sentence by the crime of the person. Furthermore, in this method, they simply cut the person’s head apart from the body.

4. Stoning – In this the criminal is beaten till death. Also, it is the most painful method of execution. UAE, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan etc. These country follow this as a capital punishment

5. Shooting – The criminal is either shoot in the head or in his/her chest in this method. Myanmar use this as a capital punishment

3.6 Hanging – This method simply involves the hanging of culprit till death. India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, UAE, Sudan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka etc. These county used this as a capital punishment.

4. Supreme Court on Validity of Capital Punishment in India

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution ensures the Fundamental Right to life and liberty for all persons. It adds no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. This has been legally construed to mean if there is a procedure, which is fair and valid, then the state by framing a law can deprive a person of his life. While the central government has consistently maintained it would keep the death penalty in the statute books to act as a deterrent, and for those who are a threat to society, the Supreme Court too has upheld the constitutional validity of capital punishment in “rarest of rare” cases. In Jagmohan Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1973), then in Rajendra Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1979), and finally in Bacchan Singh v. State of Punjab (1980), the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional validity of the death penalty. It said that if capital punishment is provided in the law and the procedure is a fair, just and reasonable one, the death sentence can be awarded to a convict. This will, however, only be in the “rarest of rare” cases, and the courts should render “special reasons” while sending a person to the gallows

4.1 Criteria for Rarest of Rare

The principles as to what would constitute the “rarest of rare” have been laid down by the top Court in the landmark judgment in Bacchan Singh v. State of Punjab. Supreme Court formulated certain broad illustrative guidelines and said it should be given only when the option of awarding the sentence of life imprisonment is “unquestionably foreclosed”. It was left completely upon the court’s discretion to reach this conclusion. However, the apex court also laid down the principle of weighing, aggravating and mitigating circumstances. A balance-sheet of aggravating and mitigating circumstances in a particular case has to be drawn to ascertain whether justice will not be done if any punishment less than the death sentence is awarded.

In the case of Dhananjoy Chaterjee v. State of West Bengal he was accused of raping and then murdering a 14 year old girl, Hetal Parekh. He work as a security guard. The victim lived in the same apartment that Dhananjoy was guarding. According to the official verdict, it was proved that he raped the girl and then choked her to death. The judiciary declared the crime as “rarest of rare” because the guard was responsible for the protection of the society and the people living in it. The accused was scheduled to hang on June 25, 2004 but his family filed a mercy plea, which was rejected by the then President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He was finally hanged on his 39th birthday in Alipore Central Jail in Kolkata.

In the case of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab v. State of Maharashtra Ajmal Kasab was a part of the group that was responsible for the infamous 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. This case was closely followed by the media of our country which was probably the reason why case was expedited. An 11,000 page charge sheet was filed against Kasab which made a strong case against him. He kept changing his statement from time to time and moved up to the Supreme Court pleading for mercy. President Pranab Mukherjee upheld the judgement of capital punishment on the November 5, 2012 and he was hanged to death on November 21, 2012.

In the case of Afzal Guru. He was accused of being the master mind behind the attacks on the parliament on December 13, 2001. Five armed terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament which led to the death of 8 security personnel and a gardener. A media person was also shot amidst the attack and succumbed to the injuries later. The case was handed to a special cell of Delhi Police, which was able to track and arrest Afzal by December 15, 2001. He pleaded guilty in front of the media but took back his statement later claiming that he did it due to the pressure induced by the police. A special court was formed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act which finally sentenced him to death on December 18, 2002. Due to various pleads and protests the case went on till February 6, 2013, when his plea was rejected by the President Pranab Mukherjee. His execution was a carried out as a secret mission on February 9, 2013.

5. Pros and cons of capital punishment

A. Pros of capital punishment

  • It deters criminals from committing serious crimes .  Common sense tells us that the most frightening thing for a human being is to lose their life; therefore the death penalty is the best deterrent when it comes to discouraging people from carrying out the worst crimes.
  • It stops the threat of an escape that alternative sentences would create . The fastest way to stop a murderer from continuing to kill people is to eliminate their ability to do so. That is what capital punishment does. The death penalty makes it impossible for someone convicted of murder to find ways that kill other people. Failing to execute someone who is taking a life unjustly, who that is able to kill someone else, puts all of us into a place of responsibility for that action. Although there are issues from a moral standpoint about taking any life, we must remember that the convicted criminal made the decision to violate the law in the first place, knowing full well what their potential outcome would be.
  • Without the death penalty, some criminals would continue to commit crimes .  It deters prisoners who are already serving life sentences in jail from committing more serious offenses.

6. Cons of capital punishment

  • It is a cruel and unusual punishment,  where basic standards of human dignity are compromised or undermined.
  • It continues the cycle of violence.  Retribution is just another word for revenge, it is essentially just a form of the flawed thinking that two wrongs can make a right. The pro argument is that killing people is wrong, therefore you should kill people for killing, which makes no sense
  • The justice system is bound to make mistakes .  In the case of people who are wrongly imprisoned, they can be released from prison and given compensation, but a wrongful execution can never righted

7. Relevant legal provisions of capital offences

  • Capital offences of IPC

1. Section 121- Treason, for waging war against the Government of India

2. Section 132- Abetment of mutiny actually committed

3. Section 194 -Perjury resulting in the conviction and death of an innocent person

4. Section 195A- Threatening or inducing any person to give false evidence resulting in the conviction and death of an innocent person

5. Section 302 – Murder

6. Section 305 – Abetment of a suicide by a minor, insane person or intoxicated person

7. Section 307 (2) – Attempted murder by a serving life convict

8. Section 364A -Kidnapping for ransom

9. Section 376A- Rape and injury which causes death or leaves the woman in a persistent vegetative state

10. Section 376E- certain repeat offenders in the context of rape

11. Section 396 – Dacoity with murder

  • Capital Offences in other laws in India

1. Sections 34, 37, and 38(1) – The Air Force Act, 1950

2. Section 3(1) (i) – The Andhra Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act, 2001

3. Section 27(3) – The Arms Act, 1959 (repealed)

4. Sections 34, 37, and 38(1) – The Army Act, 1950

5. Sections 21, 24, 25(1) (a), and 55- The Assam Rifles Act, 2006

6. Section 65A (2) – The Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Act, 2009

7. Sections 14, 17, 18(1) (a), and 46- The Border Security Force Act, 1968

8. Sections 17 and 49- The Coast Guard Act, 1978

9. Section 4(1) – The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987

10. Section 5- The Defence of India Act, 1971

11. Section 3- The Geneva Conventions Act, 1960

12. Section 3 (b) – The Explosive Substances Act, 1908

13. Sections 16, 19, 20(1) (a), and 49- The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force Act, 1992

14. Section 3(1) (i) – The Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act, 2000

15. Section 3(1) (i) – The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999

16. Section 31A (1) – The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

17. Sections 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 43, 44, 49(2) (a), 56(2), and 59- The Navy Act, 1957

18. Section 15(4) – The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of rights of user in land) Act, 1962

19. Sections 16, 19, 20(1) (a), and 49- The Sashastra Seema Bal Act, 2007

20. Section 3(2) (i) – The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

21. Section 3(1) (i) – The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002

22. Sections 10(b) (I) and Section 16(1) (a) – The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967

8. Conclusion

In India, capital punishment has been practiced since ancient times. Many countries abolished capital punishment. When we look at our national crime statistics death penalty has not proved to be deterrent for doing offence, the crimes rates are increasing only. Capital punishment is the harsh reality of our world. Without the death penalty, some criminals would continue to commit crimes.  It deters prisoners who are already serving life sentences in jail from committing more serious offenses. Capital punishment is necessary in India because in today’s world the crime rate of rare of the rarest is increase, so if the capital punishment is not given to him then the fear will not create in the society and the crime rate will increase. To maintain peace in the society judiciary have to take some tough calls.

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IS IPC GENDER BIASED

LAWS AND PROVISIONS RELATING TO CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST UNDER IPC

should capital punishment be abolished in india essay

By Nicole Daniels

Students in U.S. high schools can get free digital access to The New York Times until Sept. 1, 2021.

In July, the United States carried out its first federal execution in 17 years. Since then, the Trump administration has executed 13 inmates, more than three times as many as the federal government had in the previous six decades.

The death penalty has been abolished in 22 states and 106 countries, yet it is still legal at the federal level in the United States. Does your state or country allow the death penalty?

Do you believe governments should be allowed to execute people who have been convicted of crimes? Is it ever justified, such as for the most heinous crimes? Or are you universally opposed to capital punishment?

In “ ‘Expedited Spree of Executions’ Faced Little Supreme Court Scrutiny ,” Adam Liptak writes about the recent federal executions:

In 2015, a few months before he died, Justice Antonin Scalia said he w o uld not be surprised if the Supreme Court did away with the death penalty. These days, after President Trump’s appointment of three justices, liberal members of the court have lost all hope of abolishing capital punishment. In the face of an extraordinary run of federal executions over the past six months, they have been left to wonder whether the court is prepared to play any role in capital cases beyond hastening executions. Until July, there had been no federal executions in 17 years . Since then, the Trump administration has executed 13 inmates, more than three times as many as the federal government had put to death in the previous six decades.

The article goes on to explain that Justice Stephen G. Breyer issued a dissent on Friday as the Supreme Court cleared the way for the last execution of the Trump era, complaining that it had not sufficiently resolved legal questions that inmates had asked. The article continues:

If Justice Breyer sounded rueful, it was because he had just a few years ago held out hope that the court would reconsider the constitutionality of capital punishment. He had set out his arguments in a major dissent in 2015 , one that must have been on Justice Scalia’s mind when he made his comments a few months later. Justice Breyer wrote in that 46-page dissent that he considered it “highly likely that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment,” which bars cruel and unusual punishments. He said that death row exonerations were frequent, that death sentences were imposed arbitrarily and that the capital justice system was marred by racial discrimination. Justice Breyer added that there was little reason to think that the death penalty deterred crime and that long delays between sentences and executions might themselves violate the Eighth Amendment. Most of the country did not use the death penalty, he said, and the United States was an international outlier in embracing it. Justice Ginsburg, who died in September, had joined the dissent. The two other liberals — Justices Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — were undoubtedly sympathetic. And Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who held the decisive vote in many closely divided cases until his retirement in 2018, had written the majority opinions in several 5-to-4 decisions that imposed limits on the death penalty, including ones barring the execution of juvenile offenders and people convicted of crimes other than murder .

In the July Opinion essay “ The Death Penalty Can Ensure ‘Justice Is Being Done,’ ” Jeffrey A. Rosen, then acting deputy attorney general, makes a legal case for capital punishment:

The death penalty is a difficult issue for many Americans on moral, religious and policy grounds. But as a legal issue, it is straightforward. The United States Constitution expressly contemplates “capital” crimes, and Congress has authorized the death penalty for serious federal offenses since President George Washington signed the Crimes Act of 1790. The American people have repeatedly ratified that decision, including through the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 signed by President Bill Clinton, the federal execution of Timothy McVeigh under President George W. Bush and the decision by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department to seek the death penalty against the Boston Marathon bomber and Dylann Roof.

Students, read the entire article , then tell us:

Do you support the use of capital punishment? Or do you think it should be abolished? Why?

Do you think the death penalty serves a necessary purpose, like deterring crime, providing relief for victims’ families or imparting justice? Or is capital punishment “cruel and unusual” and therefore prohibited by the Constitution? Is it morally wrong?

Are there alternatives to the death penalty that you think would be more appropriate? For example, is life in prison without the possibility of parole a sufficient sentence? Or is that still too harsh? What about restorative justice , an approach that “considers harm done and strives for agreement from all concerned — the victims, the offender and the community — on making amends”? What other ideas do you have?

Vast racial disparities in the administration of the death penalty have been found. For example, Black people are overrepresented on death row, and a recent study found that “defendants convicted of killing white victims were executed at a rate 17 times greater than those convicted of killing Black victims.” Does this information change or reinforce your opinion of capital punishment? How so?

The Federal Death Penalty Act prohibits the government from executing an inmate who is mentally disabled; however, in the recent executions of Corey Johnson , Alfred Bourgeois and Lisa Montgomery , their defense teams, families and others argued that they had intellectual disabilities. What role do you think disability or trauma history should play in how someone is punished, or rehabilitated, after committing a crime?

How concerned should we be about wrongfully convicted people being executed? The Innocence Project has proved the innocence of 18 people on death row who were exonerated by DNA testing. Do you have worries about the fair application of the death penalty, or about the possibility of the criminal justice system executing an innocent person?

About Student Opinion

• Find all of our Student Opinion questions in this column . • Have an idea for a Student Opinion question? Tell us about it . • Learn more about how to use our free daily writing prompts for remote learning .

Students 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Nicole Daniels joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2019 after working in museum education, curriculum writing and bilingual education. More about Nicole Daniels

should capital punishment be abolished in india essay

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Should Capital Punishment Be Abolished In India

should capital punishment be abolished in india essay

Introduction

The prime rationale behind providing punishments is to make the wrongdoer pay the penalty for the wrong he did and to provide a message to society and deter them from committing the same. Capital punishment is an integral part of the criminal justice system also follows the same rationale.   But as human rights movements are increasing and the ideology of considering a person as a fellow human being rather than his gender, race, religion, caste, etc. the rationality of capital punishment is being questioned. 

The word “death penalty” interchangeably used as capital punishment means the state-sanctioned execution of a malefactor sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law for a criminal offense. The sentence that orders someone to be punished in such a manner is known as a death sentence and an act of carrying out such a sentence is called an execution.

Historical Background 

“If a man destroys the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye”

  • These lines are the core doctrine of  the code of king Hammurabi

Of Babylon which originated at the age of 18 th century that led to the evolution of capital punishment. The statute prescribed capital punishment for over twenty different offenses depending on the defendant’s societal status. The crimes which are now treated lightly like theft; perjury, etc. were subjected to capital punishment in the Hammurabi Code. Later, the notion of capital punishment was adopted by different ancient statutes like the draconian code of Athens where the death penalty was considered to be compulsory for all types of crime, the roman law of twelve tables where they imposed capital punishments through various methods like burning alive, boiling in oil, drowning, hanging, being thrown to a wild animal, etc. Soon after its introduction, there was a hike in the number of capital punishments held in the 17th and 18th centuries for crimes ranging from theft, cutting down of trees, marrying a Jew, treason, etc. As the punishments started getting more stringent and heinous the jurists had started considering the death sentence only for serious crimes. This led to early reforms in the statute of the death penalty in Britain. It was not only in the statute but also several religious texts have justified the idea of capital punishment:

  • “Whosoever sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6) are the excerpts from bible that justifies capital punishment.
  • In Islam, capital punishment is entitled for certain crimes like apostasy, adultery, murder, those who conducts war against Islam and spies.

Capital punishment for murder was penalized in India after the independence in 1947 by the imposition of a penal code. But during the British regime, it was during the period of 1931 the fingers started pointing towards the constitutionality of capital punishment when Mr. Gaya Prasad Singh, a member of the British parliament introduced a bill to scrap the death penalty for all the offenses prescribed under the Indian Penal code. But the bill was denied during that time at the parliament by stating the impossibility to enact the bill. And after Independence, the government had retained several criminal statutes including the penal code of, 1860 thus penalizing the death penalty. Later on, during the period of 1950 to 1980 there over 3000-4000 capital punishments occurred in India. But it was the 1980’s landmark case Bachan Singh vs. State of Punjab [1] that became a turning point in the evolution of laws regarding capital punishment.

Bachan Singh Vs. State of Punjab:

In this case, the bench was headed by justice Y.C chandrachud, justice A.gupta, justice N.untawalia, justice P.N.bhagwati, and Justice R. Sarkaria. The issue raised in the case is regarding the constitutionality of section 302 of IPC, 1860 under which capital punishment is provided, and about the necessity to follow the facts identified by the lower courts for awarding capital punishment under section 354(3) of CRPC. The judgment of the case states that: 

The court has dismissed the query against the constitutional validity of section 302 of IPC and 354(3) of  CRPC and has also stated that the death penalty can only be imposed in rarest of rare cases, which means that conviction for life imprisonment is the rule and death penalty is an exemption. In India, we all have the right to life under article 21 of the Indian constitution so, that capital punishment is only imposed on serious crimes like aggravated murder, other offenses resulting in death, terrorism-related cases resulting and not resulting in death, kidnapping not resulting in death, drug trafficking not resulting in death, treason, espionage and military offenses not resulting in death. Minors, pregnant women, mentally challenged people are excluded from the death penalty. Hanging and shooting are the two methods that are adopted in India for the execution of the death penalty.

  The first capital punishment was executed in September 1947 at Jabalpur central jail by hanging Rasha alias Raghu raj Singh and recently for Nirbhaya rape case by hanging four out of six culprits: Mukesh Singh, viny Sharma, Pawan Gupta, and Akshay Kumar Singh at Tihar jail. This was the first time where four convicts were hanged together on the same platform. Prior to this, the death sentence conducted in India was the 30th July 2015 hanging of terrorist Yakub Memon, who was convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Over 720 people were executed in India after Independence.

Current Status Of Capital Punishment Both Globally And In India

Global level:

There are over 58 countries that still follow the death penalty as a punishment. The convention against torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment stated that the execution or imposition of capital punishment will not amount to torture or inhuman. The death penalty was permissible under the international criminal law in Tokyo and Nuremberg tribunals which were formed during Second World War and from there onwards international courts exclude capital punishment as a permissible form of punishment.  The death penalty is permissible as a punishment under the international convention on civil and political rights (ICCPR) but at the same time, article 6 under the convention guarantees the right to life and also imposes certain safeguards that are supposed to be followed by signatories before considering the death penalty. The ICCR also consists of a second optional protocol for the abolition of the death penalty. It came to light in 1991 and it has 81 state parties and 3 signatories. Under article 37(a) of the convention on rights of children strictly prohibits the imposition of the death penalty on minors (under the age of 18).

At the national level:

From jag Mohan Singh Vs. the state of Uttar Pradesh [2] then in Rajendra Prasad Vs. the state of Uttar Pradesh [3] till the landmark case of Bachan Singh Vs. In the state of Punjab, the apex court stated that in India death penalty can only be imposed in the rarest of rare cases. In India, we highly value the life of a human being under article 21 of the Indian constitution and it was stated that a person will only be executed for a death sentence if it has a fair and valid reason. The case should require some uncommon nature which makes the life imprisonment inadequate and enables the court to take away a person’s right to live. In India, our constitution also provides the right to seek pardon and get free from the death penalty. The mercy petition can be accepted by the president and governor under article 72 and article 161 in the Indian constitution respectively.  9 presidents have accepted mercy petitions with Rajendra Prasad being the president who accepted more petitions.

The Arguments For The Death Penalty

The major   arguments that favor the idea of the death penalty are:

  • The major argument arises from the concept of Hammurabi code, where it considers the man who deprived the right of another man no longer deserves the luxury of human rights.
  • Certain crimes like rapes deserve heinous punishments like death penalty.
  • Awarding death penalty to the wrongdoers will prevent the society from committing the crimes.
  • Death penalty is given as a counter act of revenge by the victim’s family, which is a right that they deserve.
  • It is a strong deterrent for criminals.

The Arguments Against The Death Penalty

  • The common argument that stands against death penalty is that it takes an individual’s right to life.
  • Many countries execute mentally challenged people who might not even know that they have committed a crime.
  • In countries like Sudan and Iran death penalty is often used as a political device to execute their political propaganda.
  • The people who are disadvantaged to have proper socio-economic background are denied proper legal aid and it tends to emerge as a great disadvantage and will not enable the justice system to follow its ideology of justice to all.
  • There are high chances of a person proving to be innocent after the execution. In America, more than 184 prisoners sent to death row were later released from the row on grounds of innocence in 1973. The death sentence itself cannot ban fellow people from committing the crime

Alternatives For The Death Penalty

By providing value to the life of an individual and also providing the wrongdoer to understand his mistake and repent for the same, other alternative punishments are also provided.

  • Life imprisonment: it is an effective replacement for death penalty. In this type of punishment a culprit is put behind the bars without the privilege of parole which means that a person cannot leave the prison until he dies. But there is also life imprisonment which provides the luxury of parole. Life imprisonment without parole does have a similar effect that of a death sentence where a person is denied from leading a free and independent life.
  • Long term imprisonment: in this type of punishment, a culprit is sentenced for a fixed time period of 40 years. Its followed in several countries like:  Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Norway, Portugal and Venezuela 
  • Release with restrictions: under this punishment the culprit is released with certain restrictions for life long or a particular period of time. any infringement of these restrictions will enable the system to send him back to prison
  • Preventive detention: this is a type of detention where a person is detained for preventing him from committing a crime.it is mainly provided in case of serious violence or sexual assault where his release can be a threat to society.
  • Indeterminate term of imprisonment: in this type of imprisonment, a person is sent to jail for a minimum duration but can be prolonged thereafter.

During the time where nirbhaya rape case was a burning topic, BBC had filmed a documentary named India’s daughter where they interviewed the culprits and their family members. In that documentary, Mukesh Singh, one among the six culprits, was asked the question of whether he repents for the crime he did and the answer was a blatant “NO”. He said that no good girl will go out after 9 pm and if rape occurs it’s the girl’s fault than the boy. The main motive behind punishment is to make the wrongdoer pay the penalty and at the same time, it should deter society from committing the same. Not only in the above-mentioned case but in many other crimes the culprit themselves fails to understand their own mistakes. Other than killing someone for taking another’s life capital punishment sadly gets entitled to an act of mere revenge. It fails to implement its major objective of deterring society from committing the crime. There are lots of social, psychological, and legal aspects that are connected with the commission of a crime. Unless we aren’t able to identify and treat and plunder the reasons for the commission of crimes at the `grassroots level, capital punishment won’t be a solution for it.

The article has been written by  Nourien Nizar, a first-year B.COM LLB (HONS) student of Government Law College, Ernakulam, Kerala

The article has been edited by Shubham Yadav , a 4th-year law student at Banasthali Vidyapith.

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SHOULD CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BE ABOLISHED?

  • Indian Penal Code Other Laws Subject-wise Law Notes
  • March 24, 2020

criminal law

Death penalty inter alia other penalties has been a tool in the laws of rulers to control the order amongst the rule, legally since the inception of the concept of statehood .Those who are advocate of retributive theory are to justify the authority of imposition of death penalty of the ruler as the fear of stringent penalty shall prevent the malicious mind to enable a person to author a heinous crime. The reformative theorist condemn it by arguing that crime is not just a personal phenomena ,rather it is a cumulative resultant of sociological disbalance.

The modern day states try to face off from their responsibilities as a ruler to harmonize the social disbalance in respect to rigorous punishments like death penalty and stand with the majoritarianism. Since the inception of statehood the rulers have been trying to capture the power in the name of their responsibility to maintain the law and order in the state .In the phenomena the rulers always justify their act in the form of legislators. Death penalty is awarded to people to have done rigorous crime that seems to be against the public order of any society.

Capital punishment in India is one of the legal penalties in India. It has been carried out in five instances since 1995, while a total of twenty-six executions have taken place in India since 1991, the most recent of which was in 2015. The basic aim of giving punishment is to transform a person from law-breakers to law -abiders.

In the case of Mithu V/s. State of Punjab, [1]the Supreme Court struck down Section 303 of the Indian Penal Code, which provided for a mandatory capital punishment for offenders who committed murder. Since Independence, the number of people executed in India is a matter of dispute; official government statistics claim that 52 people have been executed since 1947. However, research by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties indicates that the actual number of executions is in fact much higher, as they found records of 1,422 executions in the decade from 1953 to 1963 alone.

Research published by National Law University, Delhi on death penalty convicts since 2000, had found that out of the 1,617 prisoners who were sentenced to death by trial courts in India, capital punishment was confirmed in only 71 cases. NLU, Delhi confirmed that there have been 755 executions in India since 1947. According to a report of the Law Commission of India (1967), during 1953-63, 1410 was the total number of cases in which the death sentence was handed down in India.

In December 2007, India voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a temporary prohibition on the death penalty. In November 2012, India again voted against the UN General Assembly draft resolution to uphold its stance on capital punishment by seeking to end the institution of capital punishment globally. The Law Commission of India submitted a report on 31 August 2015 to the government in which it was recommended to abolition of capital punishment for all crimes in India, except is someone wages war against the nation or for terrorism-related offences. The report cited several factors to justify why death penalty should be abolished, including its abolition by 140 other nations, its arbitrary and flawed application and its lack of any proven deterring effect on criminals.

The trend of judgments being passed in recent years: The trend of passing death penalty is showing a legitimate change and as years passes on its resulting a fall in the verdict of capital punishment . As the report shows the Trial courts in India delivered 102 death sentences in 2019, over 60% fewer than the 162 death sentences passed in 2018. Most death sentences were imposed for murders, and murders involving sexual violence, at 45 and 58 respectively in 2018.In India, these sentences can been be handed out under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (1860).There are also 24 other state and central laws which contain provisions for the death penalty.

Since independence in 1947, the majority of executions have been carried out in Uttar Pradesh state, according to the National Law University in Delhi, that state has executed a total of 354 people, with the next highest number being Haryana with 90, and Madhya Pradesh with 73 executions since independence. The data shows that in 2018 alone, the courts imposed 162 new death sentences – 50% more than the previous year and the highest in nearly two decade.

What can be the reason behind the apex court to pass the death penalty? May be the apex court passes the judgment to reduce the crime by passing such verdict or the apex court passes the judgment in result to external pressure. In the year 2016 the death penalty awarded was 150 which again reduced to 108 in the year 2017 which showed a drastic increase by 162 in 2018 which again was slopped down to 102 in 2019. The reason behind the ups and down in the judgment can have many reasons and the report showed a slide down in recent year. In dealing with the social order and the role of criminal justice system the margin of human error can never be ruled out .At the same time crime control in a complex social structure is not a cake walk for any ruler where the judgment alone has more value in the democratic country like India.

Recommendation of law commission of India in abolition of the death penalty except in the cases of terror – According to the report of Law Commission of India, the principle of ‘rarest of rare’ cannot be operated free of arbitrariness. It also said that, life imprisonment better serves the goal of deterrence hence; capital punishment should not be given for any offences except for the cases of terrorism. This recommendation was however not unanimous. The purview of the law commission is to abolish the death penalty completely in the coming future .but due to few reasons the complete abolition doesn’t suits the recent judgment. The abolition of any particular thing is not that easy at all in the place where the judgment of the apex courts in few matters is so slow.

There are many debates that run regarding the abolishment of the death penalty, but like in any other topic this topic also has people towards it those who say that it must be awarded for a safer and harmonious society while few debate saying that it must be abolished because it’s against the human rights and even against the fundamental rights of a individual. The prior condition attached to it is that must be rarest of rare case to inflict death penalty. Having saying that with the changes in the changing world and society the concept of death penalty have been evolved to be different in the world of courts .And there have been many sinful crimes committed but keeping the mercy in the eyes of the judge giving the verdict at courts have exchanged the word of death penalty with life imprisonment .Many have been awarded with death penalty but very few cases have been prosecuted against the same.

While having a look at the theories of punishment being described in the criminal jurisprudence ,it prescribes the suitable punishment for the crime that is relevant to it .Talking about theories of punishment there are five theories: Deterrent Theory, Retributive Theory, Preventive Theory, Reformative Theory, Expiatory Theory

Whether death penalty is addressing these theories? Is death penalty the best form of punishment since life imprisonment also addresses the entire theories requirement? Once a person is executed the person is wiped out from the society nor can he be reformed or expiated. Any judgment passed erroneously it cannot be rectified as the person is executed. Material object has to be produced before reasonable time. The objective deriving from death penalty is also derived from life imprisonment .My opinion as a researcher over death penalty is there has to be speedy declaration of judgment with taking into account all the reasonableness while passing judgment.

The custom of death penalty persists even from the earlier history of Mohammedan law and other history so the abolition doesn’t sounds to be that easy and few many have thoughts like it must be abolished and few may even think it must not be . If in mere future the capital punishment is abolished may be the crime rates increase to the highest .the trend of the apex court has shown the number of cases that’s being converted or commuted from capital punishment to life imprisonment. There are crimes which will affect the society at large and there are offences which may affect only a particular individual so the terrorism is affecting the society at large and hence the law commission suggested the capital punishment for the terror cases or in the cases of abetment of waging a war.

Is the decision or recommendation in contrast to the judicial proceedings of the court?

There was a question arising that as to if the “rarest of rare “doctrine serves the purpose of prosecution and will the abolition of the benefit the society or make the crime ratios even more transitional in an upward direction. If we have a look at the judicial proceedings our country is a democratic as well as a country wherein the crime ratios are much higher than any other country so the judgment of the apex court also has to be adaptable to the situation of our country needs.

“Continued administration of death penalty asks very difficult constitutional questions…these questions relate to the miscarriage of justice, errors, as well as the plight of the poor and disenfranchised in the criminal justice system” [2]

The shifting era of death penalty to lethal injection in the mere future: Here the fundamental question that arises is whether the supreme court of India keeping the entire necessary situation into the hand, tilt towards the lethal injection from death penalty. There are many countries that have already from long time ago adopted the process of lethal injection instead of hanging .it completely depends on the court or the public authority to legalize the lethal injection.

Currently, India is one of 83 countries who have retained the death penalty. In India, usually, hanging or shooting is the way to award death penalty. Recently, the Law Commission of India came up with a document entitled ‘Consultation Paper on Mode of Execution of Death Sentence and Incidental Matter’. This document mainly contained a questionnaire of polling opinions on methods of execution. The questionnaire neither questions the use of the death penalty nor whether this method of punishment is necessary and justified. The ‘Consultation Paper’ has been confined mainly to the following three issues:

  • The method of execution in the death sentence;
  • The difference in judicial opinion among judges of the apex court in passing the sentence of death penalty in process of elimination;
  • The need to provide a right of appeal to the Supreme Court to the accused in such cases.

The changing parameters in the judgment of the supreme court in trend of death penalty- Indian Criminal jurisprudence is the combination of deterrent theory and reformative theory of punishment. To create deter amongst the offender and give them the opportunity to reform the punishments are to be imposed. Since some are in favor of retention of the capital punishment while others are in favor of its abolishment, hence there has been diverse opinion regarding death penalty.

India is one of the countries in the world which have retained capital punishment reasoning that it will be awarded only in the ‘rarest of rare cases’ and for ‘special reasons’. Neither legislature nor the Supreme Court have not come up with any categorization as to what constitutes a ‘rarest of rare case’ or ‘special reasons’ has not been answered either by the.

The concept of equality incorporated in Art. 14 finds echo in the preamble to the constitution. Capital sentence is therefore, against of one’s right to life. However, there is nothing in the Constitution of India which expressly holds capital punishment as unconstitutional. Time to time the constitutional validity of the death penalty was challenged from in numerous cases.

In Jagmohan Singh V/s State of Uttar Pradesh [3], it was held that that the death penalty was not violative of the article 14, 19 and 21 but it was violative of Article 19 and 21 because it did not provide any procedure as to how the procedure has to be executed. And on basis of circumstances and facts it is upon the judge whether to award death penalty or life imprisonment

In Rajendra Prasad V/s state of Uttar Pradesh [4]it was stated that the death penalty was violative of article 14, 19 & 21 he then emphasized on the point that to impose capital punishment there needs to be two ingredients present in it, special reason must be recorded as to on what basis the death penalty is being imposed. And the death penalty must only in imposed in extraordinary circumstances

Bachan Singh V/s State of Punjab [5], in this case the previous judgment was overruled. In this case the principle of “rarest of rare “was laid that .and stated that the person who is guilty for such an offence that can be termed as rarest of rare in nature. After that supreme court struck down the sec 303 of IPC which stated death penalty for murder and it was stated that just for a reason of murder the offender must not be executed for death penalty .it should also have reasonable grounds for infliction of death penalty and must come under the doctrine of rarest of rar e.

In 2018, India was among top 7 countries to award death penalty. According to project 39 of the NLU, Delhi, and the lower court awarded 162 death penalties which are again subject to commutations. The highest death sentences awarded in the year 2018 was the highest in the century, previous highest being 154 in 2007.

Further, in the case of Machhi Singh vs. State of Punjab [6], the Supreme Court laid down the extent as to what rarest of rare cases Court held that five categories of cases may be regarded as deserving extreme penalty. They are:

  • Firstly: Manner of Commission of murder must be inhuman.
  • Secondly: there must be motive behind commission.
  • Thirdly: Anti-social or socially deterrent nature of the crime.
  • Fourthly: Magnitude of the Crime.
  • Fifthly: Personality of murderer.

In Deena vs. Union of India [7], the constitutional validity of section 354(5) IPC 1973 was challenged on the ground that by rope as prescribed by this section was barbarous, inhuman and degrading and therefore violative of Art. 21. The court held that section 354(5) of the I.P.C., which prescribed hanging as mode of execution as fair, just and reasonable procedure within the meaning of Art- 21 and hence is constitutional.

In Sher Singh vs. State of Punjab [8], it was held that death sentence is constitutionally valid as long as it comes in the purview of rarest of rare case as held Bachan Singh’s case. This has to be accepted as the law of the land.

In Mithu vs. State of Punjab [9], S.303 of the IPC was held violative of Article 21 and 14 of the Constitution of India and hence it was struck down, as the offence under the section was punishable only with capital punishment and the judiciary the power to exercise its discretion was not given and thus result in an unfair, unjust and unreasonable procedure depriving a person of his life.

Basis of commutation by the apex court There are several cases wherein the cases are being commuted and the reasons are many for the same if even after awarding the death penalty the cases are being commuted to life imprisonment then there is no point of death penalty because there are thousands of cases that is pending before the court for which the reason maybe absence of evidence or any other vital thing that is essential.

Commutation mainly occurs when the apex court substitutes the sentence provided with a lesser sentence. In the year 2018 apex court commuted 11 out of 12 death penalties were for non-homicidal offences and sexual violence. On other hand high court of India out of 58 capital punishment commuted 36 to life- imprisonment.

In the case of Shatrughan Chauhan V/s Union of India [10], he apex court held that the courts may also check if the executive examined all the relevant materials. Required while rendering a pardon, it also observed that failure to consider any superseding circumstances by president or governor while declining the requests for granting a pardon would be violative of article 21 of the constitution and it would make enough reason for the court to commute the death penalty to life imprisonment .

In the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case , the death sentence of three accused had been commuted by the apex court. Thereafter the state of Tamil Nadu proposed to remit the life sentences and exonerate all the seven convicts this proposal was challenged in the apex court and the apex court constructed several questions.

One of the question was, if life imprisonment as under section 54 R/w section 45 of the IPC would mean imprisonment for the rest of the lifetime of the prisoner and if any special classification can be made for the cases where instead of awarding death sentence, imprisonment of the rest of lifetime of the prisoner barring any application of remission may be substituted.

The apex court observed that life imprisonment could only mean imprisonment for the rest of the life of convicts .the right to claim commutation ,remission etc .as provided under Article 72 or Article 161 of the constitution of India would always be present.

To conclude, Indian democracy is at a place that to come to any conclusion about it is not possible because our judiciary works in accordance to various other factors, it works and functions according to factors like media trial, arbitrary pressures and various other factors. And any eminent change in our judiciary it takes lot years so seeing any shift in the parameters with respect to the judgment of apex court takes a lot of years.

Earlier our society was different and the degree of crime was different now in this changing world the crime scenario is way different as to how be the situation earlier. Before people were of a view that death penalty must not be abolished and the offender must be punished now the society is of the view that partially few people are in favor of it and few against it .we might reach to a situation wherein we don’t require to award capital sentence and our society might only believe be reformation of the offender.

The definition of rarest of rare as laid down by various precedents of judgments also may vary over time and has also varied from before. The societal concern of any country varies time to time and court in accordance to that particular crime modifies its basis and category of conviction.

Maybe in various situations the judgments passed by the apex court can have any type of human error and in that particular matter once the person is executed cannot be gotten back. As per the criminal jurisprudence theories the apex court might pass any judgment as a link to any theory for the betterment or development of society.

[1] Mithu V/s. State of Punjab on 27 March 2001 [2] Report of 20thLaw Commission on Death Penalty www.scconline.com [3] Jagmohan Singh V/s State of Uttar Pradesh1973 AIR 947, 1973 SCR (2) 541 [4] Rajendra Prasad V/s state of Uttar Pradesh1979 AIR 916, 1979 SCR (3) 78 [5] Bachan Singh V/s State of Punjab AIR 1980 SC 898 2 SCC 684, 1983 1 SCR 145 [6] Machhi Singh vs. State of Punjab1983 AIR 957, 1983 SCR (3) 413 [7] Deena vs. Union of India(1983)4 SCC 645 [8] Sher Singh vs. State of Punjab1983 AIR 465, 1983 SCR (2) 582 [9] Mithu vs. State of Punjab1983 AIR 473, 1983 SCR (2) 690 [10] Shatrughan Chauhan V/s Union of India on 21 January, 1947

Author Details: Anu C Nanda and Raisha Rout (Reva University, Bangalore)

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Capital punishment, Death Penalty, or execution is the infliction of death upon a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The practice of capital

Punishment is as old as government itself. Capital punishment or in easier terms the death penalty is applied to people who have done various forms of bad behavior. Method of execution are crucifixion, stoning, drowning, impaling, and beheading but in such present time execution is formed by lethal gas or injections, electrocution, hanging, or shooting.

THE DEBATE whether the death penalty should be abolished or not is one of most long lasting and impassioned debates going on in the civil society and political sphere in India. Some subscribe to the "eye for an eye" or "life for life" philosophy, while others believe that sanctioned death is wrong. Former Chief Justice of India and now NHRC Chairperson K G Balakrishnan has favoured continuance of this provision, but he seems to have forgotten the other side. Most supporters of death penalty believe that it is justified on one or more of the following grounds: as means of revenge/justice, as a deterrent to others, to prevent any danger of re-offending and it is cheaper than life imprisonment where criminal will stay whole life in prison on tax payers' money.

But some human rights organizations oppose the death penalty on one or more of the following grounds: killing someone is always inhuman and it is like murdering legally, there is no evidence of deterrent effect ( indeed the available evidence seems to show there is no effect), life without parole is just as effective a way to prevent someone re-offending as finishing them, saving money can never be a justification for taking someone's life and mistakes are bound to happen. In India, death sentence was last carried out in 2004 when one Dhananjay Chatterjee was hanged for rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Kolkata. Here the question to ask is, has the execution of Dhananjay Chatterjee stopped rapes in our society? Has the number of rape cases declined? No, these crimes are increasing day by day. If we look at hanging cases, there is hardly any positive effect of death penalty.

In my view if we look at our national crime statistics, death penalty has not proved to be a deterrent. The reality is that the death penalty is a barbaric exercise in which no civilized society should participate. Capital punishment is a flawed aspect of the judicial system in our country. So many instances prove that the criminal justice system (CJS) is riddled with errors, corrupt officials, and flawed practices, yet this system is still permitted to execute people. The system needs an overhaul. The death sentence to the terrorists evades logic as a fidayeen (suicide attacker) like Kasab and Afzal Guru would only embrace death as their means to martyrdom. These people are already prepared to die for beliefs. Besides this, their execution will not guarantee end of further terror attacks against the country but would rather be used by the extremist masterminds to instigate violence and more hatred against India. If we are serious about dealing with terrorists, we could do worse if we follow the Israeli example.

The death penalty has no place in modern society, so nobody's surprised that it's still used in India, China and the United States. There is a punishment worse than death; make the convict endure endless discussion about capital punishment. The rigorous life in prison would be a far worse punishment than a swift death and in the case of terrorists, they took the job fully prepared to die for their cause. The death penalty serves only to assuage a misplaced public sense of retribution and as a tool for pandering politicians.

I strongly feel, we have to reform our laws especially for death penalty. Our laws should be such that a punishment should be so rigorous that it should remind not only to the offenders/ terrorists/culprits but also it should be a living example for the people around him about his inhuman acts. Each day and night, he should regret his acts of crime and at the same time it should act as deterrent.

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SHOULD CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BE ABOLISHED?

Capital punishment, Death Penalty, or execution is the infliction of death upon a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The practice of capital Punishment is as old as government itself. Capital punishment or in easier terms the death penalty is applied to people who have done various forms of bad behavior. Method of execution are crucifixion, stoning, drowning, impaling, and beheading but in such present time execution is formed by lethal gas or injections, electrocution, hanging, or shooting. Killing someone is always inhuman and it is like murdering legally.

In India, death sentence was last carried out in 2004 when one Dhananjay Chatterjee was hanged for rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Kolkata. Here the question to ask is,has the execution of Dhananjay Chatterjee stopped rapes in our society? Has the number of rape cases declined? No, these crimes are increasing day by day. If we look at hanging cases, there is hardly any positive effect of death penalty. In my view if we look at our national crime statistics, death penalty has not proved to be a deterrent. The reality is that the death penalty is a barbaric exercise in which no civilized society should participate. Capital punishment is a flawed aspect of the judicial system in our country.The rigorous life in prison would be a far worse punishment than a swift death and in the case of terrorists; they took the job fully prepared to die for their cause.I strongly feel, we have to reform our laws especially for death penalty. Our laws should be such that a punishment should be so rigorous that it should remind not only to the offenders/ terrorists/culprits but also it should be a living example for the people around him about his inhuman acts.

On 10 October 2015, the 13th World Day Against the Death Penalty raised awareness around the application of the death penalty for drug-related offences, to reduce its use. In December 2014, the United Nations’ General Assembly voted on a new resolution for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

Post Contributed By:

Laxmi Khawas

Indian Institute of Legal Studies

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Capital punishment should be abolished | Band 7 essay sample

by Manjusha Nambiar · November 24, 2014

Capital punishment should be abolished. Do you agree or disagree with this statement.

This essay was submitted by one of our students. It may contain spelling and grammar mistakes. It is merely provided as a sample.

Capital Punishment has always been a subject of long and grueling debates amongst intellectuals and philosophers since the dawn of history.

Supporters of capital punishment argue that such a method of punishment is very effective in deterring criminals from committing murder. Also, from justice point of view, capital punishment is regarded as the just and logical punishment for murderers. As for the victim’s family, it serves as an opportunity to take revenge for their murdered loved ones.

However, critics view capital punishment as immoral. Since killing as an act on its own is a condemned one, this exclusive right of the government to kill would spark many moral dilemmas. In addition, statistics have proved that capital punishment, regardless of the method, has failed to control the number of murder cases in many countries. In reality, there has been no established pattern that would support the claim that capital punishment serves as a tool to reduce murder cases. For example, in Scandinavian countries, where capital punishment had been abolished, the number of murder cases per capita is one of the least in the world. Hence, it is hard to say that capital punishment was the reason for this astounding result. In a country like the USA, murder cases are numerous despite capital punishment.

In conclusion, Capital punishment has failed to serve its purpose. This established through facts and statistics. In addition to being an immoral method of establishing order, it portrays governments as criminals. It is rather prosperity that can control violence in the world. After all, humans tend to do the right thing; it is circumstances that compel them to commit the evil.

This is a good essay. However, there are several mistakes in it. The essay is not divided into five paragraphs. The introduction is too short whereas one of the body paragraph is too long. Also the student forgot to state his opinion in the introduction.

Overall, this seems to be a band 7 – 7.5 essay.

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should capital punishment be abolished in india essay

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Write a composition (in approximately 450 − 500 words) on the following subjects: Capital punishment should be abolished. Argue for or against the proposition

The death penalty, also known as capital punishment is a legal procedure in which a state executes a person for crimes he/she has committed. this punishment has been implemented by many states, and is normally used for atrocious crimes, especially murder. it is also used on crimes against the state such as treason, crimes against humanity, espionage, and violent crimes while other states use it as part of military justice. there are mixed reactions on capital punishment depending on one’s faith, and the state they come from. in my view, i am not in favour of death penalty, as i strongly believe that, death penalty is unacceptable and an inhumane practice for it denies one the right to live. death penalty does not deter crime, it is an act of simply annihilating a criminal. now, the question arises that is death penalty the severest form of punishment what about life imprisonment this will make the life of the criminal sheer hell. you get only a small piece of sky to see, bland food to eat, no company of the close ones, no friends to banter with, an apology for food and endless time to brood over what one has done isn't this life like a living death will it not act as a deterrent for crimes in society as for capital punishment, once the victim is dead, they're dead, nothing will bring them back. killing the criminal is simply state sanctioned murder. how can one say murder is wrong but then commit it to serve as an example the second point is that a criminal should be forced to confront the consequences of his actions. the death penalty prevents this. it's undoubtedly frightening for the condemned, but soon they're dead, so they have nothing to worry about once that conclusion is reached. with life imprisonment, there's at least a chance they'll be influenced to at least think about what they've done, another salient point is that as long as you have capital punishment, there is no guarantee that innocent people won't be put to death. such possibilities become impossible in case of death penalty. again there is a possibility that money power can buy justice how many millionaires get capital punishment worst crimes remain unproved due to the skill of the lawyers. and the same skills can prove an innocent person guilty imposing death on innocent ones, becomes the most unjust deed. data showing crime rate in many countries where capital punishment occurs, prove that it doesn't necessarily deter crime. heinous crimes like murders and rapes occur despite the provision of death penalty. whereas many states where the capital punishment is not allowed, show lesser crime rate. long term imprisonment serves the purpose of punishment better than the savage method of killing. death penalty should be abolished as it is like fighting the symptom rather than the root causes. just give a thought to the effect of death penalty on public's psychology our society is already too violence-saturated as it is, without adding this horrendous relic from the past..

Why Capital Punishment Should Be Abolished

Introduction, capital punishment and mental illness, capital punishment and race, capital punishment and age.

Capital punishment refers to the legal execution of serious offenders which also refers to the death penalty. This practice is prevalent in the United States despite the arguments concerning its merits and effectiveness as a serious crime deterrent. Capital punishment involves five lawful methods, including electrocution, gas chamber, shooting, hanging, and lethal injection. The United States legal system uses the death penalty to successfully deter serious crimes.

The first capital punishment execution occurred in the American colonies during the 17th century and was widely spread out during the revolutionary war period. Despite arguments that capital punishment is a deterrent to violent crimes, it should be abolished because it cannot be administered fairly due to factors such as mental illness, age, and race.

Arguments concerning capital punishment for mental illness raise substantive issues on how the process is unfair for individuals. People living with mental illness do not have a sound mind in decision-making regarding their fate during trial and defense, making the process unfair (Beitsch, 2017). The legal process does not stipulate any provisions that ban mental illness execution. Despite several states having legislative bills banning mentally ill execution, none has enacted laws that implement the action. The situation depicts that mental illness and capital punishment issues in the United States remain unsolved following the constitutional progression.

Despite the Supreme Court’s contribution to addressing the mental illness issues, capital punishment still prevails over the victims. Reports indicate that executions that happen include five to ten percent of mental illness individuals.

Mental illness individuals are disadvantaged while defending themselves in a court of law and experience difficulties when facing serious offenses that attract the death penalty. The stigma and fear involved in such cases affect the criminal justice system’s fairness progression.

The situation heightens the mental illness risks of losing lives unfairly due to capricious death penalty applications. In some instances, mentally ill individuals face threats and coercion for false confessions due to an inadequate understanding of human rights and lack of access to high-quality legal advice (Sandys et al., 2018). On the other hand, the criminal justice system fails to ensure fairness due to mental illness legal requirements that call for exceptions in some issues such as crime. This situation calls for the criminal justices’ responsibility in establishing a more just method for guilt determination concerning the victim’s mental status and the primary basis for capital cases.

Studies indicate that individuals with mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, have faced capital punishment for murder convictions. Only a handful of states with the encompassing lawmakers advocate for capital punishment banning while the rest still view the practice as viable for crime deterrence. The abolition proponents champion for the insane individuals to serve mental hospital terms than facing the death sentence.

Liberties Union that fights for human rights reports that individuals with mental illnesses who face death penalties entail unfair treatment (Larkin Jr & Canaparo, 2020). Most of them have severe conditions such as mental problems that led them to crime. Through the insanity provisions, such persons are unfit for trial, and through conviction, their mental incompetence during death row should prompt their exemption from execution. These circumstances have led the American Psychiatric Association and other agencies such as Death Penalty Action (DPA) to champion the ban of capital punishment for severe mental illness individuals.

Research on criminal justice progression depicts persistence in racial disparities in capital punishment implementation. The reports present the African Americans as more likely to face the death penalty than the white defendants. The situation illustrates that blacks have lower chances for mental health treatment. Although the United States’ population comprises a lower percentage of black and the majority is whites, the number of African Americans serving imprisonment with the death penalty are higher than their counterparts (Cohen, 2020). This situation indicates the heightened racial discrimination in the legal system. Even though all races engage in criminal actions, African Americans experience more punishments than whites. Also, blacks are less likely to access substantive representation in the legal system due to the existing bias.

Capital punishment dates back to the colonial era when it was only applicable to blacks. The persistent racism resulted in campaigns against its progression, contributing to the decline, but it did not stop in the 19th century. Despite many attempts to abolish the practice on a discriminatory basis, capital punishment still affects African Americans. The intrinsic racism in the current progression focuses on the victims’ race rather than the defendant determining the death sentence (Cohen, 2020).

The defendant is more likely to face a death sentence for killing a white than a black person. In contrast, chances increase when the perpetrator is an African American against an American. Research reports indicate that minorities have faced capital punishment for murdering whites while fewer whites face execution for committing the same crime against African Americans (Fenner, 2020). This situation indicates the level of intrinsic racism in the system.

The racial practice is evident, starting from the arrests to execution. The criminal justice system operation involves the police patrol, which focuses on monitoring the minority color people rather than the whites. This situation explains why many African Americans are in prisons and face harsher punishments than their counterparts. The call for capital punishment abolition would eliminate such unfair sentences for the blacks (Fenner, 2020). Even in states where there are many African Americans, the judicial system exclusively constitutes whites ranging from the judges to the chief justice. The lack of representation exposes people of color to unfair judicial execution. Despite the civil rights movement as part of societal activities, the judicial system progresses with discriminatory racial instances that are color biased.

The judicial system in death sentence encompassing the adults and youths proves unfair to the adolescents. Many proponents against capital punishment abolition explain teenagers’ execution. The scientific research on the issue depicts differences in the adult and adolescent’s emotional, cognitive, and physical capabilities (Troutman, 2018). These differences present the adolescents as incapable of making sound decisions concerning crimes and the consequences attracted. Based on the psychological and resonance imaging research, the immaturity level of the adolescents’ frontal lobe plays an essential role in planning and implementing goal-directed behavior.

While the adults have developed reasoning abilities, the adolescents are still in the developmental stages, creating an imbalance in reasoning and behavior presentation. The imbalance results in the teenagers’ emotionality and vulnerability, leading to their involvement in risky behaviors. These adolescents possess inadequate self-control and are more likely to indulge in impulsive behaviors without considering the encompassing consequences. Adolescents’ inadequacy in consequences’ anticipation for risky actions emanates from their inexperience in decision-making ability.

Additionally, they are inefficient in information processing, affecting their ability to make rational decisions based on the action and foreseen consequences (Troutman, 2018). They make quick and impulsive decisions compared to adults who have more experience in life and better reasoning capacity development. The teenager’s less future orientation contributes to their non-consequential actions that do not involve weighing the costs and benefits.

In some cases, the juveniles can make rational decisions calmly, but a stressful environment jeopardizes their thinking ability. The stressful environment also compromises their capability in weighing the costs and benefits of actions contributing to crime activities (Troutman, 2018). The encompassing issues include peer pressure and enjoyment. The quest to gain peer approval and happiness denies the adolescents chances to make long-term decisions. The psychological research indicates how peer pressure influences the youth’s brain activity stimulating the brain’s reward Centre. The stimulation emanates from the peer interaction where the crime tendencies entail challenging progression of resisting peer influence.

In conclusion, capital punishment is a violation of the constitutional ratification that views it as unusual and cruel. The abolition proponents indicate that even murderers deserve a better value for human life. At the same time, the opponents call for abolition due to the unfair progression of racial discrimination, mental illness, and age. The abolition proponents argue that an individual having mental illness cannot defend themselves in a court of law and the death sentence implication is unfair. Additionally, racial discrimination presents African Americans as more affected by capital punishment than whites.

Based on the age factor, it is unfair to place adults and adolescents at the same level of criminal actions and executions. While the former has a more developed brain and reasoning ability, the latter are immature and based on peer approval for criminal tendencies. Based on the arguments concerning the judicial system’s progression, it is essential to abolish capital punishment.

Beitsch, R. (2017). Should states ban the death penalty for people with severe mental illness? PBS News Hours. Web.

Cohen, A. (2020). Berkeley law helps governor seek more protections against racial bias in jury proceedings . Berkeley Law. Web.

Fenner, R. (2020). Faculty research spotlight: Race and the death penalty . Stanford University. Web.

Larkin Jr, P. J., & Canaparo, G. (2020). Are criminals bad or mad: Premeditated murder, mental illness, and Kahler v. Kansas. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy , 43 , 85.

Sandys, M., Pruss, H., & Walsh, S. M. (2018). Capital jurors, mental illness, and the unreliability principle: Can capital jurors comprehend and account for evidence of mental illness? Behavioral Sciences & the Law , 36 (4), 470-489.

Troutman, B. (2018). A more just system of juvenile justice. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973) , 108 (1), 197-221.

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