Catholic archbishop criticises death penalty

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 30th May 2013

 PORT Moresby’s Catholic Archbishop John Ribat says the death penalty for a variety of crimes passed by Parliament on Tuesday would not stem the crime wave in the country.

“It is not the way forward and will not answer our country’s law and order problems at the moment,” Ribat said yesterday.

“The Government should have just left the life sentence as maximum sentence for a person rather than giving the green light to allow execution of people,” he said.

“We are a Christian nation and according to our Constitution we are recognised as such.

“How can the Government of the day see fit to introduce the death penalty when it knows that it is against our very own Constitution?” he asked.

“The Government has also seen fit to pass the law without proper consultation and especially awareness being done in villages, communities and the society at large like it was done in the past with the passing of other laws and amendments,” he said.

Ribat urged the Government to work closely with church leaders and others from all levels of the society to find ways to address the problems that would arise as a result of the death penalty law.

“A lot of work will be involved to make sure how best we can properly address the result of implementing the death penalty,” he said.