Donations to the Community of Sant'Egidio are tax deductible
under current regulations

Also this year it can target the 5x1000 to the Community of Sant'Egidio
Write the number 80191770587 in the tax return

Andrea Riccardi: on the web

Andrea Riccardi: on social networks

Andrea Riccardi: press review

change language
you are in: no death penalty - news contacting usnewsletterlink

Support The Community

 
June 8 2008 | GHANA

Ghana

Judges divided over capital punishment.

 
printable version

Public Agenda Accra

Judges Divided Over Capital Punishment

By Ebenezer Hanson
The debate on whether capital punishment, otherwise known as Death Penalty, should be abolished or not was brought into sharp focus during Tuesday's sitting of the Appointments Committee of Parliament. The four Appeal Court Judges who appeared before it in respect of their nomination by the President to the Supreme Court, were sharply divided over the issue: two were for its repeal, while the other advocated its retention.
Justices Rose Constance Owusu and Paul Baffoe-Bonnie submitted that Capital Punishment should be maintained while Justices Anin Yeboah and Jones Dotse were of the view that it should be expunged from the Statue books.
The posture of the Appointments Committee members favours that of abolition of the law and they argue that that is the contemporary thinking and Ghana should not be left behind.
Advancing arguments for the retention, the 64-year-old Ms Justice Owusu, a staunch Presbyterian and 20 years of service at the bench, disclosed that her stance is rooted in the Biblical injunction as uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ: " He who draws the sword must die by the sword."
According to her, she does not see the reason why an accused that had gone through a fair trial and having been proven beyond reasonable doubt that he was guilty of murder should not be asked to face the same fate.
But the Minority Leader, Hon. Alban S. K. Bagbin, a Catholic by faith, felt Justice Owusu was misapplying the Scriptures and drew her attention to the Bible passage which says that " Vengeance belongs to God "; alluding to the fact God has not conferred the power of taking the life of any human being into the hands of another.
Justices Anin and Dotse agreed with members of the committee that history is replete with stories from other jurisdictions where people have been executed for murder and later evidence had proven that they were not guilty of the offence. But it "was too late" because the affected persons could not be resurrected. The two judges favour life sentence to capital punishment, their reason being that if later evidence proves that there was miscarriage of justice the person so sentenced could be set free.
The death penalty has been on Ghana's statute books since the inception of English common law in the country in 1874. Ghana still retains the death penalty for armed robbery, treason and first-degree murder. Under Article 72 of the Constitution the president may exercise the Prerogative of Mercy and grant amnesty.
According to human rights activists and the Ghana Bar Association, at least 155 people were executed between 1984 and 1993 when former President Jerry Rawlings headed the Provisional National Defence Council government. Many were soldiers suspected of coup plotting.
But the situation has changed now. In April 2000, 100 people had their death sentences commuted to life terms. In February 2001, the then Justice Minister, and present NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, spoke out publicly against the death penalty. In June 2003, nearly ten years after the last execution (July 1993), President John Agyekum Kufuor, known as the "Gentle Giant", granted amnesty to 179 prisoners that had spent at least ten years on death row.
No executions have taken place since July 1993, when 12 prisoners who had been convicted of armed robbery or murder were executed by firing squad. Executions may also be carried out by hanging but Ghana's last hanging was performed in 1968.
On March 6, 2007 President, John Kufuor, freed or commuted the sentences of 1,206 prisoners to mark the 50th anniversary of independence, according to an Interior Ministry statement. Thirty-six prisoners who were on death row have had their sentences commuted to life in prison.
Three prisoners who were serving life sentences had their jail terms reduced to 20 years. And 1,167 detainees serving lesser sentences were freed. Ghana's prison population stands at just under 12,000.
On December 18, 2007 Ghana abstained on the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.

RELATED NEWS
November 29 2016
BELARUS

Death convict Ivan Kulesh executed

November 29 2016

On November 30th join the World Day of the Cities for Life against the death penalty


How, when and where to join all over the world. The map of the cities, latest news, video. Visit this page for updates and share it! The hashtag is #nodeathpenalty
November 29 2016
UNITED STATES
Join the lay Catholic Community of Sant'Egidio

Various locations throughout the Florida dioceses will again participate in the International Day of Cities for Life


You are invited to attend an event in your area! Cities for Life, Against the Death Penalty
November 21 2016
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
The results at the Third Committee of the General Assembly, the committee regarding issues relating to human rights, show momentum against the death penalty in the world

Death Penalty: the yes vote increases at the Third UN Committee, reaching a total of 115


Its resolution is debated and voted every other year
November 8 2016
KENYA

Death penalty: Sant'Egidio in Nairobi. From commuting sentences to humanizing society

November 5 2016
ZIMBABWE

10 death row inmates freed

all related news

ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 28 2016
AP

High court to examine mental disability, death penalty issue
November 12 2016
Internazionale

Si rafforza la pena di morte negli Stati Uniti
November 11 2016

Al liceo classico “Socrate” di Bari, conferenza “Non c’è giustizia senza vita”
October 24 2016
New York Times

The Death Penalty, Nearing Its End
June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
all press-related

VIDEO PHOTOS
4:04
Motion Grafic "cities for life" 2012 -
4:14
Motion Grafic cities for life FR -
3:01
Promo Engl 2013 citiesforlife -

72 visits

232 visits

49 visits

53 visits

61 visits
all the related media