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Opposing capital punishment, CJP says, in only sought life sentence in 2002 Gujarat riot convictions

By Our Representative
The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), in a statement October 10, the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty, has insisted that there is a need to "draw attention to the rights abuses inherent in the practice of capital punishment, with this year focusing on the living conditions of those on death row."
"At CJP, we have fought for reformative justice in the courts since our inception. We stand by the evidence that the death penalty is an ineffective method in deterring serious crimes, that fails to treat the true problem at hand and disproportionately affects offenders of minority groups", it said.
"CJP was born as a response to the horrific instances of violence displayed during the 2002 Gujarat riots, where we have battled over 68 cases to bring powerful, but criminally culpable people to justice. Although the crimes committed during the carnage were gruesome and premeditated, we worked with survivors to fight for life sentences, not the death penalty", it underlined.
CJP convener Teesta Setalvad said, the organization's opposes persistence has led to almost 170 convictions, with over 120 guilty persons being awarded life imprisonment. "Naroda Patiya massacre was brutal, inhuman and shameful, and a rarest of rare crime but we decided not to plead for the death penalty, because it undermines human dignity."

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