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HC: Bangladesh needs a guideline on death sentencing

  • Published at 01:21 am October 23rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:26 am October 23rd, 2017
HC: Bangladesh needs a guideline on death sentencing
The High Court has said that Bangladesh is still not in the position to abolish the death penalty but it may consider introducing a guideline on what and how the sentencing system should be applied. About 104 countries have abolished the capital punishment until 2016, while 63 countries retained it, according to Amnesty International. The court on Sunday said that the judiciaries in many countries also discourage death penalty but Bangladesh has not been able to come to that position yet. It made the observations in the full text of the June 5 verdict where it commuted the death sentence of Oyshee Rahman for killing her parents - Special Branch (SB) inspector Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife Swapna Rahman - back in 2013.
Also Read- Why was Oyshee spared from the gallows?
The full verdict was published on the Supreme Court’s website on Sunday. Citing the criminal justice system in India, the High Court also said that the punishment for murder is usually life imprisonment and the court has to reason a death penalty if they award that in a verdict. The death penalty there is usually awarded in extreme cases, such as to the perpetrators of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case. In comparison, the High Court said that in Bangladesh the first option for sentencing in a murder case is the death penalty and then life imprisonment, and explain why the death sentence has been commuted. “Our criminal justice system has no provision to reduce the death sentence by mitigating circumstances as the rights of the offender but in practice the judges have powers to determine the punishment to be awarded for an offender,” it observed. “So, in order to impose the sentence upon a perpetrator, if proved, there must be a guideline or rules as to how it can be imposed.”