The Conundrum of Legality of Capital Punishment in India: An Empirical Research Study

  • Diya Rajesh Kumar Vaya
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  • Diya Rajesh Kumar Vaya

    Student at Gujarat National Law University, India.

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Returning violence for violence, multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a sky already devoid of stars. - Martin Luther King Today the world stands at the crossroads of progressive criminal justice systems and maturation of our ideas of human rights and justice. Yet, capital punishment persists even today, in a world that boasts of individual liberty and rehabilitation over violent retaliation. Capital punishment is one of the most severe form of punishment that is given to criminals in the world. Major powers of the world, including the United States, China, India, Saudi Arabia have retained capital punishment. Over 60% of the world population lives in countries where capital punishments still remain a norm. However, till date, it remains one of the most controversial and debatable concept. After the recent Nirbhaya judgement that was passed by the Supreme Court of India, the United Nations called upon all nations to stop the use of capital punishment or put a moratorium on it. In light of these developments, where almost 70% of the countries of the world have abolished death penalties, India still remains a strong advocate. India is a developing democracy, where efforts are being taken in order to reduce the crime rates. In pursuance of this motive, India has taken a strong stance in favour of capital punishment to deter and prevent heinous crimes, punish criminals and provide justice to the victims and their families. In opposition of this view, is the view of the countries who have abolished capital punishments who argue of the inhumane nature, high costs, no scientific evidence of their efficiency and irreversible nature of capital punishments. The main aim of this paper is to examine the issue of legality of capital punishment in India even after persistent backlash. This paper, under Part I, provides a comprehensive understanding of the debate surrounding death penalty and the contemporary status of the same in India and internationally. In Part II, the paper presents a review of the existent literature on capital punishment and nuanced studies that interlink various aspects of capital punishment with characteristics of individuals to establish trends. Part III of the paper is an analysis of the perspective of the Indian demographic on the legality of capital punishment and the impact of the same on Indian laws and policies on capital punishment.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 5, Page 1731 - 1766


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