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Source: The post is based on an article “Knowing the killer” published in The Hindu on 20th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Criminal Justice System in India
News: The article discusses the recent SC judgment on the capital punishment.
What has SC said regarding the judgments on death penalty?
The Supreme Court has laid down that the death penalty can be imposed only in the “rarest of rare” cases.
The nature of offence cannot be made the only criteria to decide the “rarest of rare” category. It should also include the person’s socio-economic background and his state of mind.
The latest order of a three-judge Bench has referred the issue to a Constitution Bench which will provide a meaningful opportunity to convicts.
What is the current situation on hearing of the death sentence?
Presently, the problem with the convict is that they are only allowed to speak about mitigating circumstances after conviction.
The prosecution takes advantage of it by describing the extent of the crime and the punishment required for it, at the initial stage.
What more has been said by the Court?
Same day sentencing is upheld by various judgments and SC also said in this regard that a meaningful opportunity has to be given to the convict to present mitigating factors.
Therefore, the Constitution Bench may come up with new guidelines. Under which the trial courts themselves can hold a comprehensive investigation into factors before deciding the punishment.