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India: Saying NO to Death Penalty

Thursday 11 October 2018, by siawi3


Justice should be Reformative, not Retributive: Teesta Setalvad CJP stands against the Death Penalty

10, Oct 2018

CJP Team

This International Day against Death Penalty, we solemnly reaffirm our commitment towards ensuring justice remains a tool for reformation and not retribution. Over the past 15 years, we have spearheaded more than 68 court cases related to the Gujarat 2002 carnage. And though we have successfully secured the conviction of 168 people, not once have we demanded the death penalty!

This is because revenge begets revenge, anger leads to anger, hate leads to more hate and blood lust has no end. Even in horrific cases like the Gulberg society massacre where Congress MP Ehsaan Jaffri was mercilessly lynched and hundreds of people burnt alive, the survivors found the strength to refrain from demanding a vindictive punishment when the perpetrators were convicted. CJP played an important role in ensuring that none of the petitioners demanded death penalty despite the case falling into the “rarest of rare” category.

CJP stand firmly against the death penalty. To know more about CJP’s work in the field of Criminal Justice Reforms or to learn about our campaigns in the courts and beyond, please become a member.

Similarly, even in the Naroda Patiya case, where there were several horrific instances of gendered violence and immolations, CJP once again worked towards securing justice that soothes the pain rather than the kind that aggravates it. Even in this case we did not demand the death penalty.
“The Naroda Patiya massacre was brutal, inhuman and shameful, and a rarest of rare crime, but we decided not to plead for the death penalty, because it undermines human dignity,” says CJP secretary and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad who has been at the forefront of securing justice for the victims and survivors of the Gujarat carnage.

Now that we have expanded the scope of our work to cover matters related to women’s rights and child rights, we still stand resolute against the death penalty, even in cases of child sexual abuse and rape.

Capital Punishment for the Rape of Minors Against Survivor’s Interests
Death Penalty for Child Rape: Knee Jerk Reaction or Careful Political Manoeuvre?
CJP fights for justice in the Naroda Patiya Massacre
Gulberg Sentence: Survivors say Life over Death

Source: Citizens for Justice and Peace cjpindia

India: Saying NO to Death Penalty

15:31 (1 hour ago)

Fighting for reformative, not retributive justice.

Today, October 10th, is the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty. Internationally, human rights groups utilise today to draw attention to the rights abuses inherent in the practice of capital punishment, with this year focusing on the living conditions of those on death row.

At CJP, we have fought for reformative justice in the courts since our inception. We stand by the evidence that the death penalty is an ineffective method in deterring serious crimes, that fails to treat the true problem at hand and disproportionately affects offenders of minority groups.

CJP was born as a response to the horrific instances of violence displayed during the 2002 Gujarat riots, where we have battled over 68 cases to bring powerful, but criminally culpable people to justice. Although the crimes committed during the carnage were gruesome and premeditated, we worked with survivors to fight for life sentences, not the death penalty.
Our persistence has led to almost 170 convictions, with over 120 guilty persons being awarded life imprisonment.

“Naroda Patiya massacre was brutal, inhuman and shameful, and a rarest of rare crime but we decided not to plead for the death penalty, because it undermines human dignity.” - Teesta Setalvad

These battles continue to be fought in India’s courts, as the appeals are contested by the accused and defended by us. You can read more about our work with Gujarat riot survivors here.

All Graphics here

Know The Facts: Death Penalty in India
State-wise distribution of persons sentenced to death by Sessions Courts, 2017
Every case where the Sessions Court imposes the death sentence has to be sent to the High Court for confirmation.

In 2017, India’s High Courts disposed cases involving 99 prisoners, 26 more than last year.
Sole Criminal Appeal involving the death penalty decided by the Supreme Court, 2017
The two Review Petitions involving the death penalty decided by the Supreme Court, 2017
Info-graphics courtesy of NLU Delhi:
This is what fighting for reformative justice can do.
Our efforts in making systemic changes that not only help survivors in the cases we fight, but many others who navigate through the criminal justice system, are a result of our pursuit for reformative justice.

The amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Section 24(8)(2), in 2009, was a direct response of the Indian legislature to the fault-lines within the system, exposed during our battle in the Gujarat riots-related Best Bakery Case. For the first time, the victim/complainant was given the right to intervene and assist the prosecution during a criminal trial, a positive move in improving access to justice.

Our mailing address is:
Citizens for Justice and Peace
Mumbai 400049