According to Amnesty International’s global report ‘Death Sentences and Executions’, the Indian courts gave away 109 death sentences in 2017 but no executions were carried out. The report was released on April 12, 2018.
The report stated that the number of death sentences imposed by the Indian courts in 2017 had come down by 27, as in 2016 the courts had pronounced 136 death sentences.
Death Sentences in India
• The report revealed that the number of death penalties imposed for murder in India had gone down from 87 in 2016 to 51 in 2017.
• In other cases, the courts handed out 43 death sentences for murder charges involving sex offences and two death sentences were imposed for drug-related offences.
• Overall, there were 371 people on death row in India.
• The last time India had carried out an execution was in 2015 when Yakub Memon was hanged after being found guilty in the 1993 Mumbai terrorist bombings that killed 257 people.
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• The report revealed that China held the spot of the world's top executioner in 2018, as the death penalties awarded by the nation ran into thousands. However, the exact number of China's executions was not known because it is considered a state secret.
• Following China was Iran with at least 507 executions and it was followed by Saudi Arabia with 146, Iraq with more than 125 and Pakistan with more than 60.
• In the American continent, only the United States carried out death penalty, executing 23 people in 2017.
• In Europe, only Belaraus carried out death sentences, executing two people in 2017.
Overall, the report stated that there were 4 per cent fewer executions in 2017 and there was a 14 per cent drop in imposition of death penalties.
About Amnesty Report on Death Penalties
The report covers the judicial use of the death penalty for the period January to December 2017.
The report was formed on the basis of data collected from various sources including official figures, judgments, information from individuals sentenced to death and their families and representatives, reporting by other civil society organizations and media reports.
The study reports only on executions, death sentences and other aspects of the use of the death penalty, such as commutations and exonerations, where there is reasonable confirmation.
Hence, the figures reported in the report are mostly minimum figures and true figures are likely to be higher.