India: The death penalty

Index Number: ASA 20/013/1989

The Indian Constitution protects the right to life. Yet on average over a dozen Indians are executed every year for criminal offences. Most of them are poor and illiterate. Although the Indian Constitution guarantees all its citizens equality before the law, the fact that people are executed depends on what often appear to be arbitrary decisions of the courts or of the executive, which decides on mercy petitions. The social and political background of those sentenced to death also play a part in executions.

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