Lack of motive
A single mitigating circumstance or a single factor creating reasonable doubt is enough to reduce the sentence of death to life imprisonment.
The complainant’s testimony alone is not sufficient to prove motive, even where the accused chooses to remain silent. A lack of motive means a capital sentence cannot be awarded.
Where motive is unproven, and it is not clear who inflicted the fatal injuries the court should not award a capital sentence. If a young accused has acted under the direction of an elder, he should be shown leniency.
Where the prosecution fails to prove motive, the court should not award a capital sentence. The offender’s young age should be considered a relevant mitigating factor.
The death penalty should not be awarded where there is a lack of premeditation and motive is unproven. The Supreme Court considers a single shot fired as evidence of lack of premeditation.