Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu, has welcomed the abolition of the Death Penalty in Ghana.
Speaking to the Parliamentary Press Corps moments after the House voted to pass the Criminal Offences (Amendment), Bill, 2022, which seeks to abolish the Death Penalty, Afenyo-Markin described the passage of the Bill as “a day of victory for all Ghanaians.”
He said international human rights institutions had taken the position that the Death Penalty provisions in Ghana’s laws was repugnant, which should give way for a new form of sentencing, after being on Ghana’s Statutes Books for well over 50 years.
“Today the Parliament of Ghana has made the country proud, it has signed onto that which has become an international human rights position,” he said.
“So, simply put the Death Penalty is no more a punishment in our Statutes Books; this is not to say that those who take it upon themselves to take the lives of others are being encouraged to do so. But what we are saying is that God gives us life and under no circumstances should a person’s life be taken because of committing such an offence.”
In place of the Death Penalty, life imprisonment had been introduced, meaning that such a person (the murderer) would not have “the opportunity to come back to our society to commit such an offence possibly again,” he said.
Afenyo-Markin said Parliament had done its bid by repealing the Death Penalty and that it was now left with the Executive Arm of Government to assent to the Bill to become law.
“I believe that it is a day for all of us to celebrate, that as a country we respect human rights and we will act in accordance with international best practices when it comes to international human rights,” said.