02 Dec Knowing the killer: On SC referring death penalty issues to Constitution Bench
SC Judgement on Death Penalty
The topic is based on SC Judgement on Death Penalty. The article talks about how the Death Penalty Issues to the Constitution Bench impact Indian polity and Governance.
News: Recently SC referred the issue of the death penalty to the Constitution Bench, hence granting the meaningful opportunity to convicts on the question of sentence.
Supreme Court through its various judgments has laid down that the death penalty can be imposed only in the “rarest of rare” cases:
- The gruesome nature of the offense is not the sole criterion to decide the rarest of rare cases, there are other factors also such as the socio-economic background of the offender and the state of Mind of Criminals.
- After the court records a conviction the sentence of the trial begins mostly on the same day of the verdict.
- The convict’s side presents arguments on ‘mitigating circumstances’ while the prosecution side presents arguments on ‘aggravating circumstances.
- In the past same-day sentencing has been upheld by SC where meaningful opportunities were provided to the convict to present mitigating factors.
- Inadequacy of the sentencing process in the trial court was removed by High Courts by giving chance to convicts to present mitigating factors.
- Mostly during the trials scales are tilted against the convicts because they are able to speak about mitigating circumstances only after conviction.
- Humanizing the sentencing process at lower courts or trial courts.
- The court must assess the factors that mitigate the death penalty by eliciting reports from the jail authorities, probation officers, and psychologists.
- Framing of new guidelines by the Constitution Bench for trial courts to hold a comprehensive investigation considering the upbringing, education, and socio-economic conditions of an offender before deciding the punishment.
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