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The death penalty has produced endless discourse not only in the context of prisons, prisoners and punishment but also in the legal arena - about the validity of the death penalty, the right to life, and torture. The death penalty is embodied in Indian law, yet there is very little known about the people who are on death row except for media reports on them. The main objective of this book is to enquire if the dignity of the prisoners is upheld while confronting the criminal justice system and whilst surviving on death row. In order to explore the way the prisoners on death row experience and perceive their lives and make meaning of that world 111 prisoners on death row in India were interviewed. Underpinned by phenomenology and symbolic interactionism, the data analysis, first and foremost leads to an understanding of the prisoners who are on death row with reference to their demographic profile and the impact of death sentence on the families of these prisoners.
George’s research highlights three salient features which will be of interest to all scholars and students of capital punishment: poverty, social exclusion and marginalisation become an antecedent to death penalty; the death penalty is a constructed account by the state machinery; and prisoners on death row situate dignity higher in the juxtaposition of death and dignity.