"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Amnesty backs Indian law panel's findings on death penalty

Amnesty International India on Tuesday urged the government to accept the findings of the Law Commission on death penalty and immediately abolish it for all crimes.

In a statement, it said the Centre "must heed the findings of a Law Commission report on the unfairness of the death penalty" and immediately abolish it for all crimes.

"The Law Commission points out that in nearly a quarter of the cases in which the Supreme Court has recently given the death penalty, it has done so in error," Aakar Patel, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said adding the report is a "vital step" forward in the debate around the death penalty in India. He said the Commission debunks many of the "myths surrounding death penalty".

"Although the report stops short of recommending complete abolition, Parliament must seize this opportunity to show political leadership and abolish capital punishment for all crimes," he said.

"As the report says, the government has the power to lead public opinion, and indeed an obligation to do so on issues of human dignity and equality. India's gamble with this lethal lottery needs to stop now," he said.

The 20th Law Commission, in its report submitted on Monday, said the administration of the death penalty in India is "fallible, vulnerable to misapplication, and disproportionately" used against socially and economically marginalised people. The Commission recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism-related offences and waging war and hoped that the movement towards absolute abolition will be "swift and irreversible".

Source: Deccan Herald, Sept. 2, 2015

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