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Papua New Guinea's departing Justice minister has made a strong recommendation to the national government to fully implement the death penalty.
Announcing his resignation last Thursday, Davis Steven said the delay in implementing the death penalty is taking too long amid rising serious crime in the country.
He said: “One of the final submissions I have signed is an information paper to the National Executive Council (NEC) providing an update on where this issue is with a strong recommendation that we begin to enforce the death penalty.
“The current government has recognised the importance of that particular provision of law as a deterrent to the rising crime situation.”
He said the delay lies with the relevant authorities, especially the Correctional Services and prison system, identifying the proper method to effect the sentence.
In many countries that enforce the death sentence, prisoners are put to death by various means, including by firing squad, hanging, electric chair or lethal injection.
PNG has more than 50 death row prisoners but none has been put to death since the first man was sentenced to die by Justice (now retired) Tracy Doherty in the 1990s.
Steven said: “The death penalty is part of our laws. Question is whether it can be enforced. The judges say it can be because they have imposed judgments with penalties reflecting the death penalty.
“The executive arm of government under Prime Minister did what it could to help our authorities, mainly the CS Commissioner, and relevant institutions to decide on the method that should be employed in executing the death penalty ordered.”
Steven said the delay was “one of a political will, and the implementation and they call it the resourcing constraint”.
“The current government has recognised the importance of that particular provision of law as a deterrent to the rising crime situation.
“So I think it is time, that question and the implementation of death is timely and must be encouraged, so that is now before cabinet again as one of my final submissions which I will not be there to deliberate on, said Steven.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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