NEW DELHI: For most people, the pronouncement of a death sentence to a convict seems to be the end but a report from the National Law University, Delhi reveals that the long delays in hearing mercy pleas is causing more heartburn for death row convicts.
According to the report, the average duration of imprisonment when mercy pleas are rejected is over 16 years while it is 12 years for pending mercy pleas.
The average duration of a convict on death row when mercy pleas are rejected is 10-and-a-half years while the longest duration of incarceration is 25 years.
The median duration of death row prisoners is over eight years while the longest duration of imprisonment is over 21 years.
Lawyers say that the delay is due to the lack of urgency from authorities. “The delay in hearing pleas for a long time is a violation of fundamental rights. On one side, the government claims that they will not abolish capital punishment but on the other hand, they show no sense of urgency in handling pleas of death row convicts. Hence, there is a clear contradiction leaving inmates in the lurch,” senior advocate Rebecca John said.