Ghana is no longer a country where prisoners are executed Mrs. Lawretta Vivian Lamptey, Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has stated.
The call of the queenmother of Akyem Kotoku traditional areas for immediate execution of convicts on death roll in the country’s prisons cannot therefore be justified she stated.
Mrs. Lamptey explained that the government had accepted the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission for the death penalty in Article 13 of the constitution to be completely abolished and replaced with imprisonment for life.
She said the nation could not be taken aback again, as it had moved away from execution of convicts.
“No action can come out of her comment” she told the Ghanaian Times yesterday.
Nana Akua Asantewaah III, the queenmother was reported in the Ghanaian Times yesterday advocating a quick execution of convicts on death roll in the country’s prisons.
She argued that “almost all the convicts serving death sentences were armed robbers who had in one way or the other deliberately murdered their victims during their operations, and they do not deserve to live”.
Nana Asantewaah was contributing to a discussion at a media engagement on the Government White Paper on the report or the CRC in Kumasi on Saturday.
She said “though people sometimes commit manslanghter, armed robbers and ritual murderers have no excuse for their killings, and they must also be killed to deter others with similar inclination”.
Nana Asantewaah, who said she was recently attacked by armed robbers at her residence at gun point, added “There is no justification to entertain murderers in society, after they have been sentenced to death”
But in the view of Mrs. Lamptey, the suggestion from the queenmother had rather come late.
She said though Nana Asantewaah was entitled to her opinion, the Commission took the decision after various consultations and public fora.
Mrs. Lamptey said some Ghanaians could also hold the view that those on death roll should be executed, but once a collective decision had been taken on the matter, there was no need for further debate on it.
It is on record that no executions have taken place since July 1993, when 12 prisoners who had been convicted of armed robbery and or murder were executed by firing squad.
Executions also be carried out by hanging but Ghana’s last hanging was in 1968.
Under Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution, the President might exercise the prerogative of mercy and grant amnesty to convicts.