World Day Against the Death Penalty is annually observed across the globe on 10th October. The 10th October 2020 marks the 18th World Day Against the Death Penalty which is dedicated to the rights to effective legal representative of the individuals facing death penalty.
The first World Day Against the Death Penalty by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty was observed in 2003.
Access to counsel – A matter of life or death:
The World Day Against the Death Penalty 2020 focuses on the Access to counsel – A matter of life or death, since the process of arrest, detention and trial of a capital case cannot be guaranteed without the access of effective legal representations.
i.The World Day Against the Death Penalty was created in the 2003 by World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and this initiative manifested more than 180 local initiatives across the globe, supported by Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Belgium, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the European Union.
ii.The Council of Europe and the European Union officially recognised the World Day Against the Death Penalty in 2007.
Practice of Death Penalty:
i.Around 106 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and 8 countries have abolished it for ordinary crimes only.
ii.More than 20 countries executed the death penalty in 2019 and most executions were carried out in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt.
i.The European Union and the Council of Europe reaffirmed their opposition to the use of death penalty in all circumstances and called for the universal abolition of death penalty.
ii.The members of United Nations (UN) are called out to support the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly in December 2020.
Death Penalty in India:
i.The last execution of the death penalty in India took place in March 2020, where the four accused of Delhi Nirbhaya rape case were hanged.
ii.As of May 2019, around 371 individuals are under sentence of death penalty in India.
Method of Execution:
i.According to the Indian Criminal Procedure Code, hanging is the method of execution in the civilian court system.
ii.Under the 1950 Army Act, both hanging and shooting are listed as the method of execution in the military court martial system.