Minister for Justice, Bryan Kramer, said the cabinet has made the decision to repeal the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without parole.
“The history of the death penalty in PNG has been problematic. The death penalty was first introduced in the territory of Papua in 1907 and last execution was carried out in 1954.
“It was later abolished in 1974 prior to independence in 1975. Despite being reintroduced in 1991, the death penalty has never been properly implemented,” he said.
Minister Kramer said no Government was able to finalise necessary arrangements such as the method of execution, procurement of facilities to perform executions, and training of staff to perform executions.
He stated that NEC approved guidelines for the implementation of the death penalty, however no further action was taken to give effect to the death penalty.
“With the Government’s decision to amend the National Constitution preamble to declare Papua New Guinea a Christian country, it was important that national policies reflect Christian values.
“Only the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. It is not man’s role to take what belongs to the Lord”, he said.
The seven offences that will be amended to reflect this change are:
- Treason (Section 37)
- Punishment of Piracy (Section 81)
- Attempted Piracy with Personal Violence (Section 82)
- Willful Murder (Section 299)
- Willful Murder of a Person on Account of Accusation of Sorcery (Section 299A)
- Aggravated Rape (Section 347C) 7: Robbery with Violence (Section 386 (2))