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Peter Atupare Atudiwe - University of Ghana
GHANA: A SURVEY SHOWS THAT 48% OF POPULATION IS IN FAVOR OF ABOLITION, 40% IS AGAINST

October 27, 2014: a recent survey on “Public Support for the Death Penalty in Ghana” has shown that more people (48. 3 %) are opposed to the death penalty than those who support it (40.7 %). It indicated that 60.9 % of the respondents supported the abolition of the death penalty for treason while 53.9 % supported it for murder, with 53 % supporting it for genocide. The survey showed that among those who supported the abolition of the death penalty for murder, the two most important reasons cited were the sacredness of life (33 %) and the fear that innocent people might be executed (32 %). The fieldwork was conducted in April and May 2014 by the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, with Dr Peter Atupare Atudiwe of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon; Dr Kofi E. Boakye and Dr Justice Tankebe, both of the University of Cambridge, UK, as the researchers. The study involved a face-to-face survey of 2,460 people randomly selected from four communities in Accra, namely, Chorkor, Nima, Teshie-Nungua Estate and the East Legon Residential Area.
The study was conducted against the backdrop that Ghana is among the countries that still retain the death penalty, with 138 convicts presently on death row for three main types of offences – murder, genocide and treason. However, no executions have taken place since 1993. In June 2012, the government published a White Paper in which it accepted the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) to abolish the death penalty and replace it with imprisonment for life without parole. The overall aim of the researchers was twofold: first, to provide research evidence that contributed to public discourse on the death penalty as Ghana prepared to vote on the relevant constitutional amendments; second, to provide baseline data that would allow the tracking of trends in public attitudes over the next several decades. The survey indicated that males were more likely than females to favour the death penalty. It, however, showed that there was no difference in attitudes between victims and non-victims of violent crime. It indicated that the most preferred replacement for the death penalty was life imprisonment without parole. “Approximately 71 per cent of the people interviewed chose life imprisonment without parole as the alternative to the death penalty in the case of those convicted of genocide, 66 per cent for murder and 65 per cent for treason convicts,” it stated. The survey showed very little evidence of potential backlash in the form of support for vigilante violence or lynching, with only 26 per cent of the respondents indicating they would take the law into their own hands if the death penalty was abolished. The survey recommended that advocates of the abolition of the death penalty should make greater efforts in that respect. It also recommended that public engagement programmes on the abolition of the death penalty should move away from a human rights argument to a focus on the sacredness of life and uncertainties in establishing the guilt of suspects which might result in wrongful executions. It further stressed the need for investments in systematic studies that tracked changes in public attitudes and the conditions associated with those changes in order to pre-empt a return to the death penalty after it had been abolished. (Sources: http://article.wn.com, 27/10/2014)

CHINA: DEATH PENALTY UPHELD FOR THREE WHO LED MASS STABBING IN KUNMING
CHINA: MAN WHO KILLED TODDLER IN PARKING ROW EXECUTED
SRI LANKA: DEATH FOR FIVE INDIAN FISHERMEN
BANGLADESH: NIZAMI TO BE HANGED FOR WAR CRIMES
SAUDI ARABIA CARRIES OUT 61ST EXECUTION OF 2014
SINGAPORE: MALAYSIAN DRUG TRAFFICKER ESCAPES DEATH PENALTY UNDER AMENDED LAWS
NORTH KOREA: KIM JONG-UN PURGED MANY OFFICIALS AMONG FEARS THEY HAVE BEEN KILLED, SOUTH KOREA’S MEDIA SAID
PAKISTAN: EU LINKS MARKET ACCESS WITH ABOLISHING OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
NIGERIA: COURT ORDERS STAY OF EXECUTION ON CONVICTED SOLDIERS
TEXAS (USA): MIGUEL PAREDES EXECUTED
IRAN: 3 KURDS AND ONE IRANIAN EXECUTED IN URMIA
CHINA MULLS SCRAPPING DEATH PENALTY FOR 9 CRIMES
BANGLADESH: ONE TO WALK THE GALLOWS IN NATORE
SOMALIA: PUBLIC EXECUTION FOR TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS
IRAN: A PRISONER HANGED IN RAJAI SHAHR PRISON IN KARAJ
IRAN: FIVE PRISONERS HANGED FOR DRUG-RELATED CHARGES
IRAN: WOMAN CHARGED WITH MURDER HANGED
NIGERIA: A MAN WHO CHEATED HANGMAN AT GALLOWS FREED AFTER 19 YEARS
IRAN: 8 PRISONERS HANGED IN KERMAN AND SHIRAZ
VATICAN CITY: POPE FRANCIS BLASTS SUPERMAX PRISONS AS ‘TORTURE’
UNITED KINGDOM: ‘AID FOR EXECUTIONS’ IN SPOTLIGHT AS PAKISTAN SET TO RESTART HANGINGS
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED AFTER SIX YEARS ON DEATH ROW
IRAQ: KURDISTAN PARLIAMENT LAW COMMITTEE, ‘A FINAL DECISION MUST BE TAKEN ON THE DEATH PENALTY’
ZIMBABWE: HIGH COURT RULES OUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
IRAN: 3 AFGHANS EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
EGYPT: MILITARY COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY FOR MILITANTS
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO AWAMIYAH RIOTERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
SYRIA: JIHADISTS STONE MAN AND WOMAN TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY
SOMALIA: ISLAMIST MILITANTS STONE 18-YEAR-OLD TO DEATH FOR RAPE
ACTIVISTS: CHINA EXECUTED 2,400 PEOPLE IN 2013

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