UK-based ‘Death Penalty Project’ to assist Ghana to remove Death Penalty

Ghana’s ability to do so will put it in the over one hundred and twenty(120 countries globally that have rejected the death penalty.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

The Executive Director of the Death Penalty Project, Saul Lehrfreund has pledged his assistance to the Parliament of Ghana to take the death penalty off the nation’s statute books.

He noted that Ghana’s ability to do so will put it in the over one hundred and twenty(120 countries globally that have rejected the death penalty.

The leader of the UK-based organization made this known on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, when he called on the 1st Deputy Speaker to solicit the support of Ghana’s Parliament in this endeavor.

On his part, the First Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu assured the team of Ghana’s preparedness to be part of the International community in this regard by amending its law.

He added however that Parliament and Ghanaians will be guided by the nation’s history and culture and thus listen to the voice of the people in dealing with the law.

Also present was the Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu, who has for some time been championing a Bill in this regard.

He emphasized that Ghana has not executed anybody under the death penalty under the 1992 fourth Republican Constitution despite it having been the law for a long time.

“Our research shows that if we were able to do that, we would achieve 95 percent abolishing the death penalty, and even if we would retain the death penalty in the constitution, it would be for treason and high treason”, he said.

Mr. Saul Lehrfreund was accompanied by Carulyn Hollhe from Oxford University, Meg Govld, Death Penalty Project, Abdul-Razak Yakubu British High Commission, and Hannah Crothers Australian High Commission.

The Criminal and Other Offences (Amendment) Act 1960 Act 29 and Armed Forces (Amendment) Act 1962 Act 105, known as the Death Penalty Bill, which is being championed by Hon Francis Sosu, has recently been gazette.

About the Bill

The Bills which to amend sections 46, 49, 49a, 180, 194, and 317a of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and sections 14,15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 40, 78, and 79 of the Armed Forces Act 1962, (Act 105) to give effect to the recommendations of the 2010 Constitutional Review Commission and Government White Paper on the abolition of Death Penalty.

In its 2021 Global Report, Amnesty International described the Private Member’s Bill, proposed to Ghana’s Parliament in June by the Madina MP as a first step, from the country’s Criminal and Other Offences Act.

Latest statistics in Ghana show that there are about 165 convicted persons currently under sentence of death as of the end of 2021, six of whom are foreigners and comprising 159 men and six women.

According to Amnesty International, the resort to the death penalty by states was on the rise, with an increase in global executions by 20 percent in the 2020 figure, while the number of known death sentences increased by almost 40 percent (from at least 1,477 in 2020 to at least 2,052 in 2021).