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USA | Biden needs to act on growing anti-death penalty sentiments

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The flattening of public discourse — political, social, moral and ethical — into a simplistic left-right binary is a disturbing trend that too few of us push back against. People are encouraged to live in their echo chambers through news outlets tailored to confirm their worldviews and social media feeds custom-designed to reinforce their biases. This polarized discourse has created a false narrative around the death penalty that relies on simplistic and overgeneralized notions of our country’s partisan divide. It is a narrative that, while easy to communicate, ignores the diversity of voices expressing serious concerns about how the death penalty operates in America. For instance, the authors of this op-ed belie that simplicity. One of us is a former Democratic U.S. senator from Wisconsin, a state that has not had the death penalty since 1853, and who has worked tirelessly throughout his public life to end the death penalty. The other is the former Republican-appointed United States a

Ghana referendum will abolish death sentence, weaken President's war powers

Ghanaians would soon be called upon to decide in a referendum on the three critical reviews of portions of the 1992 constitution which are abolition of the death penalty, declaration of war by the President and the swearing-in of the President before parliament by the chief Justice.

The proposed amendments will replace the death penalty with life imprisonment whilst the declaration of war by the President will be subjected to parliamentary approval within 72 hours with two-thirds majority endorsing and that the President, under certain circumstances, should be sworn-in anywhere not before Parliament but by a high court judge.

Mrs. Estelle Appiah, a member of the Constitution Review Implementation Committee (CRIC), said this at the Central Regional edition of CRIC's regional stakeholder briefing on the recommendations for amendments of the constitution held at Elmina.

Mrs. Appiah said the referendum would be held alongside the local and district assembly elections to cut down cost and at least 40 % of the total voting population was expected to take part out of which 75 % votes would validate a particular position.

The entrenched constitutional provisions required a referendum where the general public would have a say, while those made under the non-entrenched clauses only required representatives of the people in parliament to endorse.

Other recommendations for amendment under the entrenched clauses are that the Prerogative of Mercy in offences such as high treason, armed robbery, murder and narcotic related offences would no longer be a reserve for the President but be determined by an independent committee to reduce favouritism and abuse of that power on the part of the President.

The Director of Programmes of the National Commission for Civic Education, Mr. Samuel Akowah Boateng, said the review was to strengthen the constitution to be practicable and urged the public to go out in their numbers and vote during the referendum.

Some participants at the briefing raised concerns about certain aspects of the review such as the abolition of the death penalty and the declaration of war arguing that the abolition of the death penalty could lead to high armed robbery cases.
 
Source: VibeGhana.com, June 25, 2014

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