Medicalisation of ‘legal’ killing: doctors’ participation in the death penalty
Societal support to the death penalty in India was high during the public debate preceding the hanging of Dhananjoy Chatterjee in Kolkata. Community hysteria was such that some youngsters died in mock re-enactments of the hanging, and the hangman acquired the status of a celebrity. The support base for the death penalty has only expanded over the years, with increasing violence—sponsored by both civil society and the state. This cuts across political parties and ideologies, emboldening the judiciary, law-makers and constitutional heads to use it more often.
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