Madina MP appeals for support for death penalty abolition

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina in the Greater Accra Region, Francis-Xavier Sosu, has appealed to the citizenry to support and assist efforts to abolish death penalty in the country.

He asked his fellow MPs, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to support and assist his efforts to get Parliament pass the Private Members’ Bill on the abolition of death penalty, which he had set in motion in the House.

He made the appeal in a speech read on his behalf at a workshop in Accra on stakeholders briefing on ‘Death Penalty Abolition Campaign in Ghana’ which was organised by Amnesty International-Ghana (AI-Ghana).

According to him, the imperfections and frailties with Judicial System, meant people could be killed only for future evidence to exonerate them and suggested ways in which death penalty could be abolished which were by way of constitutional amendment and amendment of various provisions in Criminal and Other Offences Act (Act 29) that proscribed death penalty as form of punishment.

Mr Sosu, who is also the Deputy Ranking Member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, explained that due to related delays and financial cost associated with amendment of Act 3 of the 1992 Constitution and recommended speedy approach towards amendment of Sections 46, 49(a), 180, 194 and 317(a) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act (Act 29) to achieve 95 per cent of abolishing of death penalty as a form of punishment.

“The 8th Parliament is the best place and has unique opportunity to change course of history by completely removing the death penalty from the statute books and processes set in motion on floor of Parliament will lead to abolishing of at least 95 per cent of death penalty.

Dr Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah, a member of Expert Panel on Death Penalty Abolition, AI, reiterated that AI was determined, dedicated and committed to abolishing of the death penalty and replacing it with life-sentence without parole.

Frank Doyi, Executive Director, AI-Ghana, observed that as human rights organisation, AI works for promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights without distinction and key area of its works is abolishing of death penalty.

Samuel Agbotsey, Campaign and Fundraising Coordinator, AI-Ghana, noted that upon realising implementation of Constitutional Review Commission’s recommendation to abolish death penalty had stalled, strategy was changed to advocacy approach. -GNA

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