Kill the Death Penalty: 10 Arguments Against Capital ..
Hugo Adam Bedau is Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at Tufts University and editor of The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies.
Paul Cassell is a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Utah and Professor of Law at the University of Utah College of Law.
Kill the Death Penalty: 10 Arguments Against Capital Punishment
No. In Mithu v. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court ruled that the mandatory death penalty is unconstitutional. While subsequent legislation for drug and atrocity offenses prescribes the mandatory death penalty, and the Supreme Court has not expressly struck down the penalty as unconstitutional, Indian courts have not applied the mandatory death penalty for these crimes. Additionally, a line of cases since the 1980 case of Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab, in which the Court held that the death penalty should only be applied for the most heinous offenses (“the rarest of the rare”), illustrate that application of the death penalty is, while not always predictable, still highly restricted.
“I believe that the most stringent punishment possible must be applied in such cases, but in this case if you impose the death penalty, the criminal will have a motive to commit murder to cover up the crime and eliminate evidence,” said Rana Parween Siddiqui, a member of the Bar Council of Delhi who practices in the High Court and the Supreme Court and specializes in civil and criminal law. “Instead, the criminal must be given life imprisonment without the possibility of bail or parole under any circumstances and there should be chemical castration.”
Should the death penalty be abolished
Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Using any special category explosive to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious damage to property is punishable by the death penalty.
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Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
The following offenses, if committed by a member of the Army, Navy, or Air Forces, are punishable by death: committing, inciting, conspiring to commit, or failing to suppress mutiny; desertion or aiding desertion; cowardice; treacherous acts; committing or inciting dereliction of duty; aiding the enemy; inducing individuals subject to military law not to act against the enemy; imperiling Indian or allied military, air, or naval forces in any way.
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Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Being a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit a capital offence is punishable by death.
- Attempts to murder by those sentenced to life imprisonment are punishable by death if the attempt results in harm to the victim.
- Calumniation: Providing false evidence with intent or knowledge of the likelihood that another individual, or a member of a Scheduled Caste or Tribe, would be convicted of a capital offense due to such evidence carries the death penalty if it results in the conviction and execution of an innocent person.
An Overview of the Death Penalty | The Artistic …
Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
According to the Penal Code, if any member of a group commits murder in the course of committing an armed robbery, all members of the group can be sentenced to death. Kidnapping for ransom in which the victim is killed is punishable by the death penalty. Being a member of an association or promoting an association while committing any act using unlicensed firearms or explosives that results in death, is punishable by death. Engaging in organized crime, if it results in death, is punishable by death. Committing, or assisting another person in committing sati – the burning or burying alive of widows or women – is also punishable by the death penalty. Under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, bearing false witness in a capital case against a member of a scheduled caste or tribe, resulting in that person's conviction and execution, carries the death penalty. Assisting individuals who are under the age of 18, mentally ill, mentally disabled, or intoxicated in committing suicide is punishable by the death penalty.
However, whether (or when) these offenses are death-eligible must be considered in the light of the Indian Supreme Court’s decision in Bachan Singh. Courts may interpret Bachan Singh as overriding other law when sentencing for offenses resulting in death. For instance, using, carrying, manufacturing, selling, transferring, or testing prohibited arms or ammunition previously carried a mandatory death sentence if it resulted in the death of any other person under the Indian Arms Act, 1959. However, a recent Supreme Court ruling in February 2012 ruled this provision unconstitutional in light of the judgments in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab and Mithu v. State of Punjab. This suggests that offenses resulting in death are punishable by death only when they meet the “rarest of rare” standard laid out in Bachan Singh.