STATEMENT BY CENTRE FOR VICTIMS OF INJUSTICE (CENVI, GH) ON THE REPEAL OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN GHANA
In a landmark decision on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, Ghana’s parliament passed the Criminal Amendment Bill to Repeal Section of the Criminal and other offences Act ,1960, Act 29and Armed Forces Act 1962,Act 105 to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment.
We would like to extend our heartfelt commendation to the esteemed members of the Ghana Parliament for passing the law to amend the Criminal Code 1960, specifically pertaining to the death penalty. This momentous decision showcases a progressive approach towards justice and marks a significant step forward in aligning the legal system with evolving societal values.
By amending the Criminal and Other Offences Act 1960, Act 29 and the Armed Forces Act 1962, Act 105, to address the death penalty, Ghana has demonstrated a commitment to upholding the intrinsic value of human life and recognizing rehabilitation as a cornerstone of the justice system. This decision reflects a deeper understanding that the purpose of punishment should ultimately be to ]reform and reintegrate individuals into society, rather than perpetuate a cycle of violence and retribution.
Moreover, this laudable action by the Parliament of Ghana aligns the nation with a growing global consensus on the drawbacks and potential injustices associated with capital punishment. Many countries around the world have progressively either abolished or strongly restricted the use of the death penalty, recognizing its irrevocability and the risk of wrongful convictions.
This legislative amendment serves as an inspiration to other nations and a testament to Ghana’s unwavering dedication to human rights and the fair administration of justice. It is a testament to the parliamentarians’ commitment to keeping Ghana in line with international human rights standards, fostering a society built on compassion, fairness, and rehabilitation.
We commend the Parliament of Ghana, especially the Speaker, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin, the MP for Madina, Hon Francis Xavier Sosu, and the entire parliamentarians for acknowledging the need for reform, engaging in open discussions, and listening to different perspectives before reaching this landmark decision. This demonstrates the depth and maturity of Ghana’s democratic processes, as well as the commitment to ensuring that laws meet the needs and reflect the aspirations of the citizens.
In conclusion, the amendment of the Criminal Act 1960, Act 29 and the Armed Forces Act 1962, Act 105 pertaining to the death penalty by the Ghana Parliament is a moment of pride and progress for the nation. This decision embodies the spirit of justice, compassion, and respect for human dignity, positioning Ghana among the vanguard of countries that understand the importance of constantly evolving their legal systems to reflect contemporary values and standards.
Centre for Victims of Injustice, Ghana (CenVI,GH) is an independent, nongovernmental, non-political and non-profit making organization dedicated to the protection and advancement of human rights and the promotion of justice as a democratic culture in Ghana.
Felix Engsalige Nyaaba