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

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Deadly Errors in Judgment

The Supreme Court’s reversal of its own judgment makes the case for a moratorium on the death penalty.


It is not uncommon for the Supreme Court to set aside the death penalty awarded to a convict by a lower court. It is also not unheard of for the Supreme Court to entirely acquit those who have been awarded the death penalty by lower courts. It is, however, the first time that the Supreme Court has set aside its own judgment that had confirmed the conviction of and death penalty for the accused in Ankush Maruthi Shinde v State of Maharashtra.

The litany of deadly horrors in this case is long. A poverty-stricken family is set upon by unknown assailants who rob, assault, and murder them over the course of one horrific night. The police, far from identifying the suspects, concoct an entirely false case against six innocent men, only because they belong to a “criminal tribe.” No actual evidence is unearthed to link them to the scene of the crime or their remote involvement in the matter. “Eyewitnesses” repeatedly change their statements as the circumstance warrants. Yet, shockingly, the trial court, the high court, and the Supreme Court confirm their convictions on the basis of this thin and unreliable “evidence.”

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Updated On : 19th Mar, 2019
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