The National, Wednesday July 10th, 2013
THE death penalty is an immature response and not suitable for PNG because there are disadvantages.
I believe the application of the death penalty is quirky and capricious.
It is impossible to justify why some murderers receive the death penalty while others, whose crimes are arguably worse in degree or savagery, do not.
PNG is not fit to practise the death penalty because more expenses are in-volved.
It is against our Christian principles, customs and human rights.
Innocent people could well be put to death in a miscarriage of justice, and that is irrevocable.
The mandatory death penalty violates the principle of the separation of powers by allowing Parliament to tie the hands of the judiciary in executing its function to administer justice.
I would like to discuss in relation to the disadvantages of the death penalty that the costs of imposing the death penalty, the risks of executing an innocent defendant and its failure to provide timely closure to victim’s families as reasons for my opposition to the death penalty.
If a convicted murderer in a sorcery case does not receive a death sentence, he receives an automatic sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or any type of early release which is fine.
Such a sentence ensures that the defendant is locked away until he dies.
There is nothing incompatible with this type of life sentence.
In this age of shrinking budgets and increased costs, the time has come to adopt a more enlightened approach.
Having studied the provisions in the amendment of the Criminal Code Act regarding the death penalty, I can conclude that the process under that law is flawed.
Strictly on a cost-benefit analysis, the costs of imposing the death penalty far outweigh the benefits of its application.
Recent studies in California, Kansas and Maryland have all confirmed that the death penalty costs much more than life imprisonment.
There are also a number of death-row cases in which the person executed was later found to be innocent.
To get something like that wrong is simply unacceptable.
Therefore, I urge the Government to consider repealing the death penalty as a matter of urgency and replace it with life in prison.
Walter Ank Evekone