Amnesty International has reiterated that keeping the death penalty as a punishment does not deter crime.
This follows passage of the Criminal and other Offences Amendment Bill. Parliament has passed the bill sponsored by Madina MP Francis Xavier Sossu despite concerns from some MPs including Zebilla MP, Cletus Avoka.
Even though Ghana has not executed anyone on death roll since 1993, the proponents of the bill argued the penalty must not remain on the country’s statutes.
Speaking on Starr Midday News with Naa Deede Tettey, the Country Director for Amnesty International, Genevieve Partington stated that since the death penalty is in Ghana’s books any President at all can come and sign it.
“Again, I have been saying persistently and consistently that the death penalty does not deter crime. I understand that the media wants to ask this question several times and use this argument but it is not an argument at all. It doesn’t deter crime. There is no proof that the death penalty deter crime.
“Yet it was necessary for it to be taken off our active books because people are still being sentenced to death. Even though they are not being executed, now when you are sentenced to death there is a high possibility of wrongful conviction, that’s one. There is also the possibility of unfair trial,” madam Partington stated.
She continued: “There are a lot of people who are in vulnerable positions, who have very poor backgrounds and who are on death roll. It is not people from middle class, elites that are on death roll. It is actually persons who have very little chance in society who understand the law and why they are really convicted for. So, yes, it is very important that we remove it from our statutory books.”
The Country Director also commended the MP for Madina and lawyer Martin Kpebu for their instrumentality in getting the bail passed.