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Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

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"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
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India: Should death penalty be abolished? Study presents a firm argument

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The study points towards lack of uniform understanding of 'rarest of the rare'

At a time the debate on whether capital punishment should be abolished rages in the country, the study based on interview of 60 former Supreme Court judges brought out a non-uniform and rather contradictory approach by judges while awarding death sentences.

Significantly, these judges, which included eight former CJIs, had adjudicated 208 death penalty cases between them at different points during the period 1975-2016, and confirmed 92 of them. 

The study also goes on to expose the serious flaws in administration of death penalty in India and presents a firm argument for abolishing capital punishment.

The report showed that despite "rarest of rare" doctrine in death penalty as laid down by the SC in the Bachan Singh case, there existed no uniform understanding of the requirements of rarest of rare doctrine. "For a significant number of judges, the 'rarest of the rare' was based on categories or description of offences alone and had little to do with judicial test requiring that the alternative of life imprisonment be 'unquestionably foreclosed', said the report.

As per the 1980 Bachan Singh case, which had laid down the principles which still hold the field, death sentence can only be given in "rarest of rare" cases, offences of extreme depravity, and which shocks the collective conscience of the community. Death is also not given if there is a chance of the convict reforming.

One judge who decided nine death penalty cases in six years at the SC dismissed the entire concept of 'reformation', calling it "astrology". 

Another judge who presided over 13 death penalty cases in five years at SC did not see the point of reformation in serious crimes stating, "people out of habit go and do some small offences - he can be reformed a man who is determined to kill innocent persons, how do you expect to reform him?"

Source: IndiaToday, Harish V Nair, December 10, 2017


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

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