ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

India's Lethal Lottery

While the "rarest of the rare" doctrine has made capital sentencing a very infrequent event in India, it has also turned the country's system of capital jurisprudence into a lethal lottery. Its legal framework for deciding which crimes are the "worst of the worst" was largely borrowed from the United States. Ironically, no nation has tried longer or harder than the US to construct a system of capital justice that reaches only the rare and also right cases without also condemning the innocent, and no nation has failed more conspicuously. Why do these two nations want a punishment that they no longer need, especially when it is so inconsistent with their own best values?

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top