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Papua New Guinea repeals death penalty 30 years after reintroduction | Papua New Guinea

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Papua New Guinea has repealed the death penalty 30 years after reintroducing it, with Prime Minister James Marape saying it was “not an effective deterrent to serious crime”.

Offenses such as treason, piracy, murder – including witchcraft-related violence – and aggravated rape will now be punishable by life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or parole after 30 years.

The last execution in Papua New Guinea took place in November 1954 in Port Moresby. The country abolished capital punishment in 1970 but reintroduced it in 1991, although there have been no executions since then.

In 2013, Papua New Guinea took steps to revive the death penalty, expanding the number of crimes to which it could be applied and changing legislation to include harsher sentences for other crimes.

Presenting the bill to parliament, Justice Minister Bryan Kramer said there were 40 prisoners on death row. But he said the state lacked the “necessary administrative mechanisms and infrastructure” to enforce the sentence in a humane manner.

Marape said the death penalty “has been in our laws for many years, but in line with other global trends and studies, it is not an effective deterrent against serious crimes and misdemeanors.

“For us as a Christian nation, in my view, the notion of ‘thou shalt not kill’ still prevails.”

God should be the judge, he said: “Instead of the death penalty, offenders will serve a life sentence without parole – I think that’s better.”

Members of the Catholic Church, who had previously spoken out against capital punishment, welcomed the repeal.

“The Catholic Church in PNG has always opposed and still opposes the death penalty because it is anti-pious and anti-Christian, inhumane, morally wrong and against the inherent human right to life of every person” , Paul Harricknen, president of Catholic Professionals Society, said.

“If we claim to be a nation of Christians, we must keep our promises. Our laws must reflect moral and Christian values, and the death penalty opposes this.

Papua New Guinea repeals death penalty 30 years after reintroduction | Papua New Guinea

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