USA | It Is Time to End the Lethal Injection Mess

On June 23, amidst all furor over its gun rights and abortion decisions, the Supreme Court handed down a little noticed death penalty decision, Nance v Ward . In that case, a five-Justice majority ruled that death row inmates could file suits using 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, a federal law that authorizes citizens to sue in federal court for the deprivation of rights, to bring suit alleging that an execution method violated the Eighth Amendment. Michael Nance, who was sentenced to death in 2002, will now be able to proceed with his suit contesting Georgia’s plan to execute him by lethal injection. Nance suffers from medical conditions that have compromised his veins. To use lethal injection, the only execution method now authorized by state law, prison authorities would have to “cut his neck” to establish an intravenous execution line. He also claims that his long-time use of a drug for back pain would diminish the effect of the sedative used in Georgia’s drug cocktail. Nance alleges that

India | HC commutes death penalty to life term for minor rape-murder

Chhattisgarh High Court has commuted a death sentence to life imprisonment, awarded to a 28-year-old youth who was convicted by the trial court for committing sexual assault on a 3 1/2-year-old child and killing her by smothering in Rajnandgaon district 2 years ago.

A division bench comprising Justice Sanjay K Agrawal and Justice Rajani Dubey partly allowed an appeal filed by Shekhar Korram maintained his convictions under various sections of IPC for kidnapping, murder and under the provisions of POSCO Act but the sentence of death has been commuted to life imprisonment by maintaining the fine amount. Besides, the High Court also directed that the life sentence must extend to the imprisonment for remainder of his natural life.

According to the prosecution case, a minor girl aged about 3 years and 6 months went missing in August 2020 from near Chikhli in Rajnandgaon district and later it was found that she was murdered. 

During investigation, Shekhar Korram was apprehended and he confessed to have abducted the minor girl, thereafter committed sexual assault upon her and then killed her by smothering.

After his conviction, the convict moved an appeal in the high court where his counsels Saurabh Dangi and Atidi Singh, during their arguments raised several points and also contended that the appellant is a plumber by profession and a young person aged 28 years and there is every chance of his being reformed and rehabilitated and he has no criminal antecedents, therefore, his death sentence be commuted to life sentence.

Appearing for the state, additional advocate general Prachi Mishra and deputy government advocate Sudeep Verma submitted that the manner in which the offence has been committed shocked the conscience of the court and society as well, as such, the trial Court has rightly held that it is the rarest of rare case and rightly proceeded to award death penalty to the accused which deserves to be maintained by confirming the death sentence awarded to him.

Source: The Times of India, Staff, June 17, 2022

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