Right To Life:
Right to Life has been offered to the citizens of India in the following:
Article 21 in The Constitution Of India 1949:
Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
Article 3 in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
Resolution adopted by the UN General Assemblies:
- Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Aims at the Abolition of the death penalty
(Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 44/128 of 15 Dec. 1989)
- The report of the Third Committee 65/206
Aims on Moratorium on the use of the death penalty:
“There is no conclusive evidence of the deterrent value of the death penalty.” (A/65/456/Add.2 [PartII])
Read the following link to justify yourselves:
Death Penalty is NOT a Deterrent to Crime
I am writing to draw your attention to the existing practice of awarding death sentences, which are more likely to be influenced by the following: sex, and economic class of the prisoner and victim, public opinion, the quality of defense counsel and vagaries in the legal process.
There is no HOT STOVE approach in awarding death penalty. The aggravating and mitigating circumstances are subjected to the ‘eye of the beholder’; and judges become victims to their perception of the scene of the crime, while deciding the ‘rarest of the rare’. Harbans Singh’s case (1982) vividly illustrates this.
In October 1975, the Allahabad High Court confirmed the death sentence imposed by the trial court on Jeeta Singh, Kashmira Singh and Harbans Singh for playing equal roles in murdering four members of a family. Each of them challenged their sentence separately before the Supreme Court. While Jeeta Singh’s appeal was dismissed by a Bench of three judges (Justices Y.V. Chandrachud, V.R. Krishna Iyer and N.L. Untwalia) and he was hanged, a different Bench of two judges (Justices M. Fazal Ali and P.N. Bhagwati) commuted Kashmira Singh’s death sentence to life imprisonment. Another Supreme Court Bench dismissed Harbans Singh’s appeal and review petition though he had sought equal treatment with Kashmira, and he was scheduled to be hanged with Jeeta Singh. But he appealed again. This time, the court stayed his execution and recommended presidential clemency, which was granted.
As a result, the death penalty is like a lottery, in which fairness always lost and the chances of getting and escaping death penalty is broadly based on who sits in the bench.
Though meant only for the rarest of rare crimes, the death penalty is widely being applied to an ever-increasing array of offences, so much so that presently there are about 477 persons sentenced to death in India and 22 people are in imminent danger in the following prisons of execution as their mercy petitions have been rejected by the President:
1. Tihar Jail, New Delhi: Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar
2. Vellore Jail, Vellore, Thamizh Nadu: M/S Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan
3. Belgaum Central Prison, Belgaum, Karnataka: M/S Simon, Gnana Prakash, Madhiah, Bilavendra, Saibanna, B. A. Umesh, Praveen Kumar, Shivu, and Jadeswamy
4. Ambala Central Prison, Haryana: M/S Sonia, Sanjeev and Dharam Pal
5. Fategarh Central Prison, Uttar Pradesh: Mr Jaffar Ali
6. Central Prison Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh: M/S Suresh, Ramji and Gurmeet Singh
7. Haridwar Central Prison, Uttarakhand: Mr Sundar Singh
8. Central Prison Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh: Mr Magan Lal
Some of the death row prisoner’s execution-stay review is coming for hearing on 22nd October, 2013.
Mercy petitions are being rejected at an unprecedented rate, mostly for political ends and to portray that the government is tough on crime. At the same time, executions and rejections of mercy petitions are being done secretly, without any scrutiny and in violation of due process.
The death penalty is objectionable for at least the following reasons:
1. The death penalty is a cruel and barbaric punishment. It inflicts inhuman suffering on the condemned and his family, while doing nothing to alleviate the loss and suffering of the victims of crime.
2. The death penalty serves no purpose. Studies have shown that the death penalty does not deter murder or protect society any more than life imprisonment.
3. The death penalty is inflicted in an arbitrary, inconsistent and unfair manner. It targets the poor, the marginalised and the oppressed, and depends more on the personal predilections of the decision maker rather than the facts of the case.
4. The death penalty is irreversible and cannot be part of a system that is not error-free. Courts have repeatedly acknowledged that the death penalty has been wrongly inflicted in a large number of cases, in two of which the condemned prisoners have already been executed.
More than 70% of the world’s nations (about 150 out of 198) are abolitionist in law or practice, including most of Europe, Africa, South America and the Pacific Region, and each year the number is increasing. Many countries with lower human development indices and higher murder rates than India eschew the death penalty. India, however, still lingers in the company of authoritarian regimes that execute people in violation of international standards. The time to set this right is long overdue.
I oppose the death penalty and demanding its repeal in India.
I resolve to work for the abolition of the death penalty in our respective domains of action and influence and solicit your cooperation as well.
I hope, you will share my belief that the only way to create a non-violent society is to end the death penalty altogether and I request you to impose the following:
• For Immediate Moratorium on Death Penalty
• For future decision to amend the existing laws that permits Capital punishment
Thank you for your time and consideration.