30 April 2013 :The Amnesty International Ghana (AIG) commended government for accepting the Constitutional Review Commission’s recommendation to abolish the death penalty in the revised constitution.
Mr Lawrence Amesu, Director of AIG said this during the launch of Amnesty International’s death penalty 2012 report in Accra.
He however, urged government to take urgent action to implement the recommendation as the continuous retention of the death penalty clause in the constitution could be used “one day as it happened in The Gambia in August last year”
He said 27 people (all men) were sentenced to death in Ghana in 2012 even though the orders are yet to be carried out.
He said, per the report from the Ghana Prisons Service, the total number of people sentenced to death in Ghana as at December 2012 was 162 men and 4 women.
ACP Paul Awini, Director of Operations at the Ghana Police Service, on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, noted that, the sanctity of life could not be toiled with and it was therefore important that the death penalty be abolished from Ghana’s constitution.
Mrs Patience Baffoe Bonnie, Head of Legal Department of the Ghana Prison Service said the Service operated within the law and would accordingly comply if the laws were changed concerning the death penalty.
She however challenged the AIG not to rely solely on abolishing the death penalty but also ensure that conditions at the various prisons were improved to enable inmates to enjoy their basic human rights.