The strange thing about death penalty is that there is no uniformity across the nations on the crimes to which it is applicable, level of the court which is competent to award it, different authorities to whom appeal can be made, and the manner by which the convict is put to death in execution of the penalty. India, for instance, is a secular nation where death penalty is in vogue, but is to be awarded in
rarest of the rare ' cases. The convict is given a fair trail, and is mandated to appeal to the Apex Court and then to seek mercy from the President . It takes years together to complete the legal process and to execute the convict, so that nothing is left to speculation that he/she had not been given a fair chance to prove innocence, or to seek a lesser penalty. Unfortunately, that is not the case with all nations across the world. A visit to the website of Amnesty International is enough to convince one that death penalty which once executed is irreversible, that many innocent people have gone to the gallows for lack of fair trial, and that a number of nations prescribe death penalty for crimes such as smuggling of drugs for which other penalties could be given. Now, one cannot expect the draft-makers of Catechism to have a quintessential summary of all the arguments for and against imposition of death penalty . Naturally, they may have chosen to limit the arguments to a few words viz. ``new understanding."