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15.11.2007 General News

Chief Justice Calls For A Debate On Death Penalty

By ISD (Gilbert Ankrah & Eva Otchere)
Chief Justice Calls For A Debate On Death Penalty

 Chief Justice Her-Lordship, Georgina Wood (left) in a warm handshake with Italian Ambassador to Ghana His Excellency (Ambassador) Fabrizio D'Agostini       The Chief Justice Her-Lordship, Georgina Wood has called for an intense national wide debate across board on the issue of Capital Punishment since it is a very controversial subject which needs divergent views.

According to her, 'it is not some thing I can do by the stroke of the pen' adding that government needs to take a holistic approach to the matter in order to come out with an informed decision.

Mrs Wood made this known in Accra when the Italian Ambassador to Ghana His Excellency (Ambassador) Fabrizio D'Agostini called on her to present the UN Draft Resolution on Death Penalty as well as inform her on the Italian view on the issue.

She noted that although the law on Death Penalty had been in the customary law and in the statute-books of Ghana for a very long time, the act has not been implemented since the country's adoption of a constitutional rule; adding that 'there are so many persons convicted under the law'.

The Chief Justice appealed to the Italian government to assist the judicial service in the area of infrastructural development especially within the Tema Metropolis, saying that it would go a long way to help speed up the judicial and civil systems in the country.

Other areas of assistance she noted was in respect to capacity building through training for judges as well as staff of the judiciary and automation in the preservation of evidence.

In his remarks, Ambassador Mr Fabrizio De Agostini also called for an abolishment of the death penalty in Ghana's statute-books since the country has been at the forefront t in the fight against human right abuses.

The Envoy pointed out that 'Italy is not in support of a Death Penalty' and added that it had since 1948 abolished the law of Capital Punishment in its statute-books.

He stated that in a discussion with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Co-operation NEPAD, authorities indicated that the issue is a delicate one and that parliament would take a decision on it.   Please click here to view photos