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Supreme Court commutes death sentence of mentally ill prisoners

Supreme Court commutes death sentence of mentally ill prisoners

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What happened

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence handed down to two mentally sick prisoners, Kanizan Bibi and Imdad Ali to life imprisonment in Lahore.

The court issued directives for the authorities concerned to shift the prisoners to a mental health facility.

What you need to know

The court also called for another death row inmate Ghulam Abbas to file a mercy appeal before the President of Pakistan and hoped that he will decide it in light of the SC verdict.

Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, who had headed the five-member bench that heard the case, announced the verdict at the apex court’s Lahore registry.

The bench reserved the verdict on a number of review petitions filed by the Punjab government and some mentally sick death row prisoners against the execution of convicts suffering from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia.

What else

The appeals sought review of the Oct 19, 2015 judgment of the Supreme Court that held the trial court and the high court had rightly convicted and sentenced the appellants.

The court ruled that it did not find any reason or mitigating circumstances to reduce the severity of their sentences.

Kanizan Fatima Bibi, from Kamalia town of Toba Tek Singh, was awarded the death penalty in 1991 for killing six people. Whereas, Imdad, who hailed from Vehari, was handed capital punishment in 2002 for killing a citizen in Burewala.

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