The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has thrown its support behind two bills currently before Parliament which seek to abolish the death penalty from the country’s legal system.
The bills when passed will amend the law that gives the state the authority to take away human life when an accused person is convicted of crimes such as murder, attempted murder, treason, piracy, mutiny with violence etc.
It will also substitute the death penalty in favour of life imprisonment.
‘The death penalty sins against the principle of human dignity’ – Catholic Bishops’ Conference
In a memorandum to that effect, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called on all Ghanaians to “work with determination to abolish the death penalty from our legal system.”
According to them, human dignity is inviolable and as such every human has a fundamental right to life.
“God created the human person in His image and likeness and therefore He alone can take back the human life. It is therefore, an obligation of every possessor of life to strive at all times to preserve the sanctity of human life,” the memorandum read.
While describing the death penalty as a sin, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference further stated that “the death penalty does not offer the convicted person the opportunity to repent and seek forgiveness.”
Also, it noted that sometimes, innocent people fall victim to the law in cases of a miscarriage of justice.
“It is for this aforementioned that the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference submits this Memorandum in support of the two Bills laid before Parliament of Ghana to end the death penalty in our statute books,” the statement signed by the President of the Conference, Most. Rev. Philip Naameh concluded.