The Punishing State
Neetika Vishwanath
Mental Illness, Sentencing and the Death Penalty

A close look at the commutation of a death sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds of post-conviction mental illness yields a few legal observations on the reasoning for commutation. What makes post-conviction onset of mental illness a factor for commutation is not that the person is no more culpable, but that the mental illness in prison in addition to punishment is “punishment plus.”

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Justice A K Sikri and the Death Penalty
Maitreyi Misra
The death penalty: a fatal margin of error
Rahil Chatterjee
Divergence on Death Penalty
Life Imprisonment Without the Possibility of Release – The Many Constitutional Sins of Sriharan

The Supreme Court validating sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of release by excluding remission raise questions about both the desirability of such a punishment and also about the serious disruption in the separation of powers.

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Amartya Kanjilal
Climb the escalator of reason

The cognitive psychologist, Steven Pinker, identifies ‘the escalator of reason’ as a historical force, which has helped reduce violence in societies. For India’s criminal justice system to climb the escalator of reason, our political and judicial leadership need to create and preserve a culture of the dispassionate study of the human costs and benefits of retribution, no matter how serious the shock to our conscience.

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Yash VijayComment