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26 death penalties carried out in Kerala, last execution in 1991

After 32 years, a Kerala court has pronounced the death penalty to convict in the Aluva rape and murder case. Kerala has so far executed 26 convicts since the formation of the state. 

26 death penalties carried out in Kerala, last execution in 1991 anr
First Published Nov 14, 2023, 3:23 PM IST

Kochi: The courts in India pronounce the death penalty to convicts only in cases where the crime seems to be the 'rarest of the cases'. The Supreme Court of India has repeatedly reminded lower courts that capital punishment should not be imposed except in extreme cases. Even if the court orders the death penalty, the convict still has the opportunity to appeal and plead for mercy. If the President of India rejects the mercy petition, the convict will be hanged. 

Kerala has executed 26 capital punishments ever since the state's formation in 1956. The Central jail in Kannur saw the execution of all 26 death sentences. There are no official records on the hangings that took place at Poojapura Central Jail in Thiruvananthapuram, despite the fact that they did occur there. In 1958, the first hanging occurred following the state's establishment.  Ripper Chandran was the final person to be hanged in 1991. He had killed 14 people by hitting them on the head with a hammer, which means it has been 32 years since a criminal was hanged in Kerala. 

Even after Ripper Chandran, courts in Kerala have imposed the death penalty in many cases. However, none of those punishments were implemented. Many had their death sentences commuted by appeal courts to life imprisonment. Currently, 16 people have been sentenced to death in Kerala jails. 9 persons are in Poojappura Central Jail and seven others are in Viyyur and Kannur Central Jails. Amirul Islam, a native of Assam who killed a law student in Ernakulam, and Nino Mathew in the Atingal double murder case are among these.

The Kottayam Additional Sessions Court, on March 24, sentenced to death Arun Sasi in the Pazhayidom murder case. Now the convict in the Aluva rape and murder case, Ashfaq Alam, a native of Bihar has joined the death row.

This is a time when human rights organizations around the world are raising their voices against the death penalty. 98 countries in the world have completely abolished the death penalty. China, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the three countries that carry out the most executions in the world. The death penalty is carried out in many ways in many countries around the world. In India, it is hanging. If the President also rejects the mercy plea of ​​the accused, the procedure of hanging will begin.

According to jail officials, a black warrant is issued once the death penalty is verified, and the prisoner is then transferred to a different cell. After that, the individual is given psychological counselling. 

The diet and routine regimens of these prisoners will differ. The prison makes the hanging rope to make sure it can support the prisoner's body weight. Before the rope is made, the prisoner's height and body weight are measured.  Most capital cases end before dawn, and the body of the criminal is given to family members. 

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