Co-accused received lesser sentences

Dilawar Hussain v. State (2013 SCMR 1582)

Any mitigation is sufficient to justify a lesser sentence. Deliberately inflicting an injury on a lower part of the body, and not inflicting repeat injuries, constitutes sufficient mitigation. Additionally, where the accused has already served a long period in imprisonment the ‘expectancy of life’ arises.

Sadar Bibi and another v Munir Ahmed and Others (2017 SCMR 344)

If the “eye-witnesses produced by the prosecution are disbelieved to the extent of some accused person attributed effective role, then the said eye-witnesses cannot be relied upon for the purpose of convicting another accused person attributed a similar role, without availability of independent corroboration.”

Irfan Ali v. State (2015 SCMR 840)

An accused cannot receive a death sentence when a co-accused with a more serious role in the incident was acquitted.

Iftikhar Hussain v. State (2004 SCMR 1185)

Where witness evidence is unreliable in regard to the involvement of one of the co-accused then, ordinarily, they cannot be relied upon against the other co-accused unless their testimony is sufficiently corroborated through strong corroboratory evidence coming from an unimpeachable and independent source.

Hassan and Others v. State and Others (PLD 2013 SC 793)

Mitigating factors that prevent the imposition of the death penalty include: (1) lack of premeditation – which can be evidenced by the incident occurring at the ‘spur of the moment’; (2) failure to inflict repeat injuries where there was opportunity to do so; (3) co-accused received a lesser sentence; and (4) lack of clarity about who inflicted the fatal injuries. Further, a death sentence should be commuted to life where the accused has already served a full life term of imprisonment (25 years), giving rise to the ‘expectancy of life’ doctrine.