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'Death by hanging better than shooting', Centre tells Supreme Court

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    The Supreme Court was told that death by hanging is better than other methods such as shooting or lethal injection. The Supreme Court is hearing a petition that sought to stop death by hanging as it is a cruel form of death-inflicting pain and injury and also violated one's right to die with dignity.

    Death by hanging better than shooting, Centre tells Supreme Court

    The petition filed by advocate Rishi Malhotra said that execution as

    contemplated under section 354(5) Cr.P.C. is not only barbaric, inhuman and cruel but also against the Resolutions adopted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

    The Centre in its affidavit said, " given the present modes of execution of death sentences if any of them is bungled, it leads to results that could be called barbaric, inhuman and cruel. The procedure followed for execution by electrocution or lethal injection or firing squad could be just as inhuman or barbaric to another person. As far as likelihood of execution getting botched is concerned, statistics show that hanging with more advanced procedures is far safer than techniques such as lethal injections."

    The Centre said there was no scientific evidence to prove that other procedures for executing death sentence were less painful and data collected from other countries showed hanging had been a safer and more reliable method.

    The affidavit also said that further, making the entire process of death penalty overly comfortable, serene and painless for the convict may substantially reduce its effectiveness in acting as a deterrent against abhorrent criminal acts as was intended by the legislature and may not be able to serve its social purpose.

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