Cleric: Show evidence of penalty

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 4th June 2013


THERE is no evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent to violent crime, a senior clergy says.

Catholic Archbishop of Mt Hagen Douglas Young said the government should not enact laws to enforce the death penalty if it did not have evidence. 

“The attorney-general noted that there had been widespread debate in the public forum but he did not indicate who had won the debate, only the decision of the government,” he said.

“The one thing missing from the debate was any evidence whatsoever that the death penalty will deter violent crime. 

“This argument was repeated over and over again without any credible evidence in support. 

“This is because there is none.

“Until PNG can detect, prosecute and successfully imprison offenders for the duration of their sentence then prospective criminals will assume that they have a good chance of getting away.”    

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Fr Victor Roche, said the church did not support the death penalty because it was against Christian principles.

Roche said the death penalty had not reduced crime in countries where it was carried out and warned that revenge killings and tribal fights would take place against the family of the executioners.  

“It is indeed a sad day for the country when the parliamentarians decided to give death penalty for its own citizens,” he said.

“We do agree that the lea­ders want to put a stop to merciless killing of innocent people especially of rape, sorcery and murder. 

“It is true that the people of this country also want the law and order situation to be brought under control but death penalty is not the solution.”