India: Delhi rape case death sentences will not end violence against women
In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the death sentences in a review plea filed by three of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape and murder case, Amnesty International India’s Programmes Director, Asmita Basu said:
“Unfortunately executions do not eradicate violence against women. There is no evidence to show that the death penalty acts as a deterrent for sexual violence or any other crime.
“Instead, the government must allocate adequate resources for the effective implementation of laws, improve conviction rates and ensure certainty of justice in all cases.
“Even the Justice Verma Committee, whose recommendations were relied upon to reform laws on sexual assault and rape, had opposed imposing the death penalty in cases of rape.”
In 2017, India was one of only three countries in the world that expanded the scope of the death penalty by adopting new laws. In April 2018, the Central Government approved the introduction of the death penalty for people convicted of raping girls aged 12 or younger.
Asmita Basu said:
"All too often lawmakers in India hold up capital punishment as a symbol of their resolve to tackle crime, and choose to ignore more difficult and effective solutions like improving investigations, prosecutions and support for victims’ families. Far-reaching procedural and institutional reforms are the need of the hour."