Death Penalty: A Paradox in a Democracy

Reena George


"Death penalty has produced endless discourse not only in the context of prisons, prisoners and punishment but also in the legal arena - about the validity of death penalty: right to life, torture, so on and so forth. This paper aims to examine death penalty within the Indian context and locate it within the larger frame of its impact on democratic process. It relies on the study with death row prisoners which concludes that death penalty is a constructed account by the state machinery. Further the paper also leans in favour of the abolitionist perspective that death penalty contradicts basic democratic principles such as human rights and rule of law. For an effective contribution to the debate on the paradox of death penalty in a democracy, the paper discusses death penalty in the realm of democratic and legal context where it discusses the processes leading to death row and finally bringing in the relation between rule of law and death penalty"

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