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Death Penalty Should Be Scrapped - Justice Dzordzie   
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A nominee for the position of the Supreme Court Justice, Justice Agnes Mercy Abla Dordzie, is urging the judicial service to scrap death penalty as a sentence in the country’s courts.

According to her, Ghana’s position as a signatory to some international conventions that are against death penalty as a sentence makes it pertinent that it be abolished.

“I think it should be scrapped off our statute books because Ghana has been a signatory to some other international conventions that have abolished the death penalty”.

Mrs. Dordzie, during her vetting on Friday, August 24 further noted that the inability of the sentence to be executed though it is given in some cases by the court is enough indication that Ghanaians want a change in that regard.

“We don’t even execute anymore. For over 20 years, I don’t think any execution has been done, so though, the courts pass the sentence, we don’t execute it so it means that as a people we have come to recognise that we cannot go that way anymore.”

“If the law says that is what should be done, I have passed these sentences though I am a Christian, that is the law and I must interpret it but I think we are getting to a point now with our relations internationally and what pertains so far as fundamental human rights are concerned, it’s about time we changed”.

On death penalty in Ghana

Death penalty is a sentence given by the court as punishment for very serious crimes.

The last time Ghana recorded an execution of a convict, was in 1993 when then-president John Rawlings ordered the execution of 12 convicts via a firing squad.

According to Amnesty International Ghana, as of September 2016, there were 137 prisoners on death row, who have not been executed. As a result, many have pushed for Ghana to do away with the death penalty from Ghana’s legal system since it is not enforced.

Those opposed against the death penalty have argued that it is not the right punishment for a convicted murderer but retributive.

Death penalty has been in the country’s statute books since the application of the English common law in 1874, but in practice, no execution has been recorded since July 1993.

According to the proponents, much as the sentence may be seen in a wider sense as fairness, it doesn’t deter people from committing such crimes.
Source: Ghanaweb.com

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