Criminal LawMurder

Who are the men whom the gallows shallow?

 

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“The white-collar criminals and the corporate criminals whose wilful economic and environmental crimes inflict mass deaths or who hire assassins and murder by remote control? Rarely, with a few exceptions, they hardly fear the halter. The feuding villager, heady with country liquor, the striking workers desperate with defeat, the political dissenter and sacrificing liberator intent on changing the social order from satanic misrule, the waifs and strays whom society has hardened by neglect into street toughs, or the poor householder, husband or wife, driven by dire necessity or burst of tantrums. It is this person who is the morning meal of the macabre executioner.” –

Rajendra Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh, Supreme Court of India (1979)

The total number of prisoners convicted and sentenced to death for the several heinous offences are 349 which is categorised under following sub-category.

Murder simpliciter: Includes cases where the prisoners were convicted under Section 300 of the IPC (murder), or Section 300 of the IPC (murder) along with the Arms Act, 1959; the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Total numbers of prisoners under this category are 213 which constitute 57.1% of the total number of prisoner convicted and sentenced to death under all the categories. Of these, 25.8% (55 prisoners) were sentenced to death for the murder of a single person.

­Sexual offences: Includes cases where the main offence along with the murder charge was rape, and also includes cases involving a repeat conviction for rape punishable with death under Section 376E of the IPC. Total numbers of prisoners under this category are 84 which constitute 22.5% of the total number of prisoner convicted and sentenced to death under all the categories.

Read: Women related law

Terror offences: Includes cases where the prisoners were convicted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (TADA), the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 or for the offence of ‘waging war’ under Section 121 of the IPC. 31

­Kidnapping with murder: Includes those cases where the main offence along with the murder charge was kidnapping. Total numbers of prisoners under this category are 24.

Dacoity with murder: Includes cases where prisoners were convicted for dacoity with murder under Section 396 of the IPC. Total numbers of prisoners under this category are 18.

Offences under defence legislations: Among the prisoners in our study, one was given the death penalty for an offence under the Border Security Force Act, 1968, while another was sentenced to death under the Army Act, 1950. Total numbers of prisoners under this category are ­2.

Drug offences: Includes cases where prisoners have been sentenced to death under Section 31A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS) for a repeat conviction under the Act. Total numbers of prisoners under this category are 1.

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