Parliament outlaws death penalty in Ghana

In a landmark decision, Ghana’s Parliament has passed the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill 2022, effectively abolishing the death penalty from the country’s laws.

The new law empowers the President to commute death penalties into life imprisonment. The Bill was passed on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 after years of calls from human rights advocates to remove the death penalty from Ghana’s Criminal Offences Code.

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, expressed his satisfaction with the passage of the bill, saying it was a major milestone and called on Ghanaians to celebrate the gesture.

He added that the death penalty had been in their statute books for over 50 years, but with the new laws, no offender would suffer punishment by death.

He concluded by calling on people to respect the sanctity of human life, saying that no one should be put to death for committing such an offense.

“We have had a death penalty in our statute books for well over 50 years. It has been a concern. I’m happy to say that we have by this amendment of the parent act been able to repeal that provision that deals with the death penalty. So simply put, the death penalty is no more a punishment in our statutes,” he stated.

The Effutu Member of Parliament added: “What we are saying is that God gives us life and under no circumstances should a person’s life be taken merely because of committing such an offence. That is not to say that those who take it upon themselves to take the lives of others are being encouraged to do so.”

With this new development, Ghana joins other countries such as Kenya, South Africa, and Rwanda, which have abolished the death penalty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button