Committee Reports

Letter in support of the Abolition of the Death Penalty in India


President Debra L. Raskin, with the help of the International Human Rights Committee, sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveying the City Bar’s strong support for recommendations contained in the August 2015 report by the Law Commission of India regarding abolition of the death penalty. According to the Law Commission Report, the death penalty has been imposed on wrongfully accused individuals in India as a result of, inter alia, poor investigative techniques, forced confessions, torture of suspects while in custody, and lack of effective legal representation. Moreover, the Indian Penal Code provides for the death penalty for a variety of offenses—such as drug trafficking—that are not recognized internationally as crimes meriting capital punishment. The Law Commission Report also found that the death penalty is disproportionately imposed on people belonging to religious minorities and economically and socially disadvantaged castes, and that capital punishment is routinely imposed without due process. The manner in which the death penalty is carried out in India may also implicate international prohibitions against cruel and inhuman treatment.