This is not the first time politics has come in the way of a death sentence. The Tamil Nadu assembly passed a resolution calling for mercy for two convicts, while the J&K Assembly tried to do the same but failed. Clearly, death sentences have become untenable because of its irreversible nature.
And coming to the irreversible nature, it is a fact that criminal justice is not perfect and there can be some errors in judgments. Jurisprudence believes that law may allow a hundred criminals free but not convict one innocent man. The problem with a death sentence is that it permanently ends the right to appeal. It is possible - it happens many-a-times - that a sentence is wrongly given and then overturned in the light of new evidence presented later. No matter how careful the judge in question may be, there remains a probability that the sentence was an error. A death sentence prevents that error from ever being rectified and therefore, goes against the philosophy of justice.
The Supreme Court has already stated that it is bound to award death as long as it remains in the books. The time has come for Parliament to seriously consider ending the death sentence, in line with Indian traditions of reform and peace.