Repeal death penalty: Parkop

Governor of the National Capital District, Powes Parkop, has proposed that the Government repeal the death penalty in the criminal code and amend it to a life sentence for those faced with capital punishment.

He raised this in parliament today, saying he visited the Bomana prison recently and found there are prisoners with a death sentence still in limbo because parliament has yet to decide on their fate.

Parkop argued that death penalty was not really punishing prisoners but giving them easy access to death.

“There are 11 prisoners in limbo, and all from other provinces, who are on death row and have been waiting for at least 10 years now, for parliament to decide their fate,” stated Parkop.

“While their families are in anxiety, the CIS does not know what to do with them too. Can the government go back to court and commit them to a life sentence? If not, can we repeal the death penalty in the criminal code and amend to a life sentence?”

Prime Minister James Marape said the question will be left to the mandate of the house of parliament to decide.

“Prisoners should be happy that we have never fully deliberated on their punishment. However, I leave this to the mandate of the House, and to the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister to pick up the conversation.”

PM Marape also gave an undertaking that he had instructed the Correctional Services Minister to convert the prison into an industry where prisoners are fully rehabilitated whilst serving their terms.

Despite its legality, capital punishment has not been imposed in PNG in over sixty years.

The last known execution, understood to have been by way of hanging, took place under the colonial administration of Australia in November 1954, in Port Moresby.

(Powes Parkop filepic)

Freddy Mou