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Death penalty can’t prevent crimes against women: Amnesty

New Delhi, July 9: After the Supreme Court decided to reaffirm its verdict of upholding the death sentence to four convicts who gang-raped and murdered Nirbhaya, Indian chapter of the global rights group, Amnesty International, said on Monday that executions will not help in eradicating violence against women. “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,” Asmita Basu, Amnesty International India’s Programmes Director, said in a statement. “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 (J.S.) 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,” she said. Noting that in April this year, the Central government approved an ordinance introducing death penalty for those convicted of raping girls aged 12 or younger, 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.”