The Death Penalty: View of Deputy AG Nominee retrogressive – Sosu

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Francis Xavier Sosu
Francis Xavier Sosu

Mr Francis-Xavier Sosu, Member of Parliament for Madina, says the view of the nominee for the Deputy Attorney-General position, Mr. Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, that the death penalty must be sustained to deter higher crimes is retrogressive.

“Though I respect his right to his opinion and would not use that as a basis for rejection of his nomination, I consider his view on death penalty as very retrogressive and inconsistent with the direction of the State,” he said.

Mr Tuah-Yeboah, responding to a question during his vetting on Tuesday, urged the State to carry out executions of people who have been sentenced to death to serve as deterrence to murderers.

He said some murderers, especially, robbers, deserved to be killed.

Since 1992, no President has signed a death warrant to execute anyone on death roll.

Mr Sosu said on page 58 of the 2020 Amnesty International Global Report on Death Sentences and Executions, Ghana together with some 27 countries were described as “Abolitionists in Practice.”

He said that was so because there had not been any execution during the last 10 years and was believed to have a policy or established a practice of not carrying out executions.

Mr Sosu said as at the close of 2020, 160 persons comprising of 155 men and five women were serving death sentences and that with each passing day, they were traumatised and emotionally and mentally tortured with the sense of waiting to be killed.

He said the 2010 Constitutional Review Commission’s recommendations, which was accepted by the Government of Ghana, over nine years ago, showed clearly that Ghana’s position on death penalty was to abolish it, therefore, there was no need going back.

Mr Sosu said contrary to the Deputy AG’s assertion that abolishing the death penalty would lead to increased murders, research had shown that countries that had outlawed the penalty had recorded low crime rates, including murder.

He said it was, therefore, time to take that punishment from the statute books, even if it would take the introduction of Private Member’s Bill.

“And I hope my Private Member’s Bill on this subject gets the necessary support to settle this matter.”

The National Campaign Coordinator for Amnesty International, Samuel Abotse, also expressed disappointment at the position of the Deputy AG Nominee and said, “…We would have loved that he’s with us, but then we are not disturbed at all.”

“In any case, we’ve gone past the view expressed by him because we have met the President, already.

And then, the President has bought into our proposal, that is to amend Criminal Offences Act 29, Section 46 and related offences (like) the death penalty, out of our criminal books.”

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