Trial courts across the country handed down 144 death sentences in the year 2021, nearly double the 77 death sentences imposed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a report by research organization Project 39A of National Law University, Delhi highlighted.
As in 2020, sexual offences continued to dominate capital sentencing in trial courts, with 54.21% of the cases that led to a death sentence involving sexual offences
The high number of death sentences by trial court in 2021 has taken the total death row population in the country to 488, a nearly 21 percent jump from 2020, the report further said.
This is also the highest death row population in India since the year 2004.
The 5 states where the maximum number of death sentences were imposed in 2021 were Uttar Pradesh (34), Bihar (27), Tamil Nadu (15), Andhra Pradesh (13) and Odisha (9).
The 5 states with the highest death row population as on December 31, 2021 were Uttar Pradesh (86), Maharashtra (41), West Bengal (38), Bihar (37) and Madhya Pradesh (37).
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