Crucial verdict: SC commutes death penalty of 15 convicts

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SC commutes death penalty
New Delhi, Jan 21: The Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted death penalty of 15-convicts on the grounds of delay and mental illness including those in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

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The SC said that the death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins will be commuted to life in case of a delay. The SC added that 'delay in deciding the mercy plea is a relevant ground for commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment.'

"Death sentence of a prisonner can't be executed if he is suffering from mental illness and schizophrenia and must be commuted to life," SC said.

SC rules that the solitary confinement of death convicts and other prisoners is unconstitutional.

Death penalty of 4 aides of Verrappan also to be commuted to life. The SC said that the death convict must be hanged within 14 days after dismissal of his mercy petition.

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