Ghana Urged To Abolish Death Penalty By 2013

Amnesty International –Ghana (AIG), a human right organization has repeated its call on the government to expunged death penalty from our statute books.

According to the human right organization, the continuous implementation of the death penalty in Ghana contradicts the peace loving country that the country is seen to the outside world. Speaking at the 2012 death penalty statistics held in Accra on Thursday, Director of Amnesty International-Ghana, Mr. Lawrence Amesu, said “the world is moving to a death penalty free and Ghana must join the death abolition countries by the end of 2013”.

He added that recommendation by the Constitutional Review Committee that the death penalty in Article 13 of the 1992 Constitution be completely abolished and replaced with life imprisonment was accepted by the government.

Mr. Amesu disclosed that prior to the advocacy of their organization to abolish the death penalty law in the world; a total of 97 countries had abolished the said law since 2013, which was not the situation some ten years ago. This also brings to totality of 140 countries in all.

“We will encourage the government in our way to ensure that the death penalty is abolished in 2013, so Ghana can become the 98th country to do so since 2003,” he said.

He however, lamented that countries that are practicing the “inhuman act” are still on the rise, which has won them the name ‘8 persistent execution countries since 2007’.

These countries, Mr. Amesu said, includes China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United States of America, Germany and Afghanistan, with China executing more people than the rest of the world put together, followed by Iran”, he said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr. Paul Awuni said the call for the abolishment of the death penalty was in good faith, adding that “the value of life is such that we can’t joke with it”.

He further explained that convicting people could lead to unlawfully conviction, “since some people even admit to crimes that they did not commit out of fear”, he intoned.

Mr. Awuni, who is also the Director of Operations at the Police Headquarters said if a person is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and after series of investigation the person is proven to be innocent, that person will just be released, which will not be the case if the person was sentence to death penalty.

On her part, the Assistant Director of Prisons, Mr. Patience Baffoe emphasized that her outfit was ready to support the abolition of the death penalty law.

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