Speaker kicks against scrapping of death penalty

Prof. Mike Oquaye,Speaker of ParliamentSpeaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye has kicked against calls for the scrapping of the death penalty in the country’s statute books.
He noted that “the death penalty is a fallback measure for the nation in punishing heinous and horrendous crimes thus, it must be maintained”.

However, Robert Akoto Marfo, Country Director for Amnesty International had expressed disappointment in handing down death penalties or death sentences to people, believing it is something we should put an end to.

“But, I believe the state must have the death penalty in its pocket reserved where necessary, most heinous of crimes can still be subject to such executions, these are parameters some of the human rights advocates don’t seriously examine and must be very mindful of them in future,” Professor Mike Oquaye stated.

The death penalty has been in the statute books since the application of the English common law in 1874, but in practice, no execution has been recorded since July 1993, when then President Jerry Rawlings ordered the execution of 12 convicts via a firing squad.

Human rights groups, such as Amnesty International for years, have been pushing for the expulsion of the death penalty from the country’s statutes with the call heaped on following the sentencing of three persons by a Tamale high court to death by hanging in July for murder.

According to Mr Marfo “it is an interesting issue when people talk about the right of the criminal, supposed a psychopath sets out to go and kill people in the mosque on Friday, people in church on Sunday, mows everybody down, at the end of it, he says, I have got the right under the law not to be executed.

“It is ridiculous, he has got the right not to be executed, but he has the right to go and kill thousands of worshipers, the state must reserve for itself the death penalty, it’s good in the country we have not executed people for long of the death penalty,” he lamented. –starrfmonline.com

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