01.03.2006 General News

I am against capital punishment - Asiamah

01.03.2006 LISTEN

Accra, March 1, GNA - Justice Samuel Kwadwo Asiamah, a nominee to the Supreme Court on Wednesday said he is against capital punishment and personally feels that the death penalty should be abolished. He said Article 15 clause 2 of the Constitution guarantees that nobody should be subjected to inhuman treatment whether under arrest or not.

Justice Asiamah said this when he appeared before the Judicial and Appointment Committee of Parliament for vetting.

"As a staunch Christian, my religion abhors the taking of human life and so I think that capital punishment is not the ideal solution." Asked how his view would be if a case is brought to him and the law requires that the person should face the death penalty, he replied; "until the capital punishment is expunged from the statutes book I would have to apply what the law says in such a situation."

On the perceived corruption in the judiciary, Justice Asiamah said, that practice must stop and that no judge has the right "to kill a case" but rather be able to judge according to the law. The nominee said corruption largely depends on the individual and not the institution per se and that those without moral character would be liable to corruption.

"One must be morally upright to be able to do his work well and that it is what the law says that must be applied and not the view of the judge."

On his preparedness to take up the job as a Supreme Court judge, he said, "If one is offered a job or a position the person must be able to work according to his capabilities and do the work accordingly and proper."

On whether he would be able, to prosecute churches who put up buildings anywhere and make excessive noise, Justice Asiamah said one should be able to distinguish between genuine and fake churches and deal accordingly with the bad ones.

He agreed that churches should pay taxes: "Because even Jesus Christ paid his taxes."

On marital rape, the nominee said he would not be able to express his opinion on it now and that it would depend on the circumstances leading to the charge

Justice Asiamah born on June 6 1938 and has been on the Bench for the past 26 years and holds a Bachelor and Barrister of Law Certificate, a Teacher's Certificate 'A' and Specialist Certificate in English. 01 March 06

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