President Approves Historic Change as Death Penalty Replaced with Life Imprisonment
Death Penalty: President Akufo-Addo’s Recent Assent to Criminal Offences Amendment Act, 2023, and Armed Forces Amendment Act, 2023
President Akufo-Addo has provided his endorsement to the Criminal Offences Amendment Act, 2023, and the Armed Forces Amendment Act, 2023, which have been recently ratified by the Ghanaian Parliament.
These Acts signify a significant legal shift as they officially substitute life imprisonment for the Death Penalty.
Presidential Seal: A Milestone in Legal Evolution
Confidential sources, along with authenticated copies of the Acts obtained from the Parliament, confirm that President Akufo-Addo affixed his signature to the Act on August 2, 2023.
Changing the Legal Landscape: From Death Penalty to Life Imprisonment
This development transpired following the successful passage of the Criminal and Other Offenses (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and the Armed Forces (Amendment) Bill, 2022, by the Ghanaian Parliament on July 25 and July 27, 2023, respectively.
The principal objective of these legislative actions was to replace the Death Penalty with life imprisonment as a punitive measure.
Architect of Transformation: Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu’s Vision
Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, an influential Member of Parliament for the Madina Constituency, played a pivotal role in proposing these groundbreaking amendments. Sosu, who also holds the position of deputy Ranking Member of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, championed these revisions, which have garnered widespread acclaim from international Human Rights advocates.
Broad Consensus: Uniting Stakeholders for Change
Significantly, the proposed amendments received resounding support from a diverse range of stakeholders. These included the President of Ghana, the Chief Justice, Justices of the Supreme Court, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Police and Prison Services, Civil Society Organizations, Religious Organizations, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and the Diplomatic Community, among others.
Ghana Joins the Ranks of Progressive Nations
With the successful passage and implementation of these legislative measures, Ghana has now become the 29th African nation to expunge the Death Penalty from its legal framework, specifically for ordinary offenses.
This move places Ghana in alignment with neighboring countries such as Sierra Leone, Zambia, Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea.
A Vision Rooted in Governance: Realizing a Progressive Society
Mr. Sosu emphasized that his introduction of Private Member’s Bills to substitute life imprisonment for the Death Penalty reflects the guidance provided by the 2010 Constitutional Review Commission Report and subsequent Government white paper.
This initiative underscores the ongoing commitment to shaping a society that embodies freedom, progressiveness, inclusivity, and security.
Related article: Ghana’s Historic Step: Repeal of Death Penalty Applauded