The Centre on the Death Penalty at National Law University, Delhi will be releasing its highly anticipated and the most comprehensive report on the subject of death penalty in India titled ‘Death Penalty India Report’ on 6th May 2016. The Report presents the findings of the Death Penalty Research Project, which was developed and conceptualised in May 2013, and the Centre on the Death Penalty which was established in August 2014, to address the dearth of empirical research on the death penalty in India and facilitate a more informed discussion on a deeply divisive issue. Though analytical research on death penalty judgments of appellate courts in India exists, there is hardly any information on the people sentenced to death, their experience in criminal justice system, their mental health, the impact on their families, etc.
The Project was developed with an aim to create a basic socio-economic profile of the prisoners sentenced to death in India and map their experiences with the all the interconnected aspects of the criminal justice system. The report which has been developed in consultation with experts like Usha Ramanathan, Dr. Yug Mohit Chaudhry and Justice S Muralidhar, the study has been designed with emphasis on interviews with prisoners sentenced to death, their families and their defence lawyers in the trial court. Apart from this socio-economic profiling, other documented investigations reveal their experiences with police investigation, access to legal representation, their experiences in Trial Court, life in prison as a person sentenced to death, the nature of their relationship with their family through the years in prison and other associated and interrelated aspects.
The Report seeks to begin a conversation on many facets of the death penalty that have hardly received any attention.. Based on interviews with all prisoners on death row and their families between June 2013 to January 2015, the Report documents the socio-economic profile of prisoners sentenced to death in India and provides an in-depth understanding of their interaction with the criminal justice system.
The Report will be released on 6th May 2016 at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (Teen Murti Bhawan – Auditorium) at 5:30 pm. During the event, the main findings of the Report will be presented, followed by a discussion on the issues addressed in the Report by a panel comprising Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan B. Lokur (Judge, Supreme Court of India), Ms. Nitya Ramakrishnan (Advocate, Supreme Court of India) and Dr. Anup Surendranath (Director, Centre on the Death Penalty), moderated by Mr. Omair Ahmed (Books Editor, The Wire).
The programme schedule can be accessed here.
The website of the Centre on Death Penalty can be accessed here.