The Death Penalty Research Project (DPRP) was conceived in May, 2013, with an aimto address the glaring absence of empirical research on the death penalty in India. Though there exists doctrinal research on judgments in which the death sentence is awarded, there is precious little information available on the social histories of persons sentenced to death, their experience with the criminal justice system, their mental health statuses, and the impact of the sentence on their families.
The DPRP attempted to take a step towards bridging this gap by undertaking intensive fieldwork with a view to build the socio-economic profiles of prisoners sentenced to death in India. The DPRP interviewed 375 out of the 383 prisoners who were on the death row at the time, their families and lawyers, documented their socio-economic profile and mapped their interaction with the criminal justice system.
Besides socio-economic data, the DPRP also documented accounts of prisoner experiences with police investigation, access to legal representation, experience at the trial courts, life on death row,relationships with family through the years in prison, and other associated aspects.
The DPRP was carried out with the extraordinary help and support of NLU, Delhi, in collaboration with the National Legal Services Authority, and under the careful guidance of experts such as Dr. Usha Ramanathan, Dr. Yug Mohit Chaudhary and Justice S. Muralidhar.
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