The Death Penalty Project UK has commended Ghana for the repeal of the death penalty.
The Ghana Parliament and the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin were commended for their roles in the repeal of the death penalty from Ghana’s statute books.
Parliament on July 25 2023, and July 27 2023, passed the Criminal and Other Offenses (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and Armed Forces (Amendment) Bill, 2022, to substitute life imprisonment for the death penalty.
These amendments which have been described globally by Human Rights watchers as historic were proposed by a private member who is a Human Rights and Public Interest lawyer and Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency, Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu.
Prior to the amendments, the proposal had received widespread support from key stakeholders including the President, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Police and Prison Services, Religious Organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and the Diplomatic Community.
During a visit to Parliament, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Project UK, Saul Lehrfreund, said “As a Project, we will like to thank the Parliament of Ghana and especially Rt. Hon. Speaker for his historic leadership and guidance without which Parliament may not have been able to take these bold steps.”
The passage of the Bills form part of efforts by the 8th Parliament to ensure the realization of a free, open, prosperous, inclusive and secure society, where individual rights and freedoms and the dignity of All persons are truly respected and guaranteed as enshrined in Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution.
Following passage of the Bills, Ghana has now become the 29th African country to abolish the death Penalty from its statute books for ordinary offenses following neighbours including Sierra Leone, Zambia, Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso, Chad and Equatorial Guinea, among others.