A Deputy Attorney General designate, Mr Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, has registered his opposition to calls for the country to abolish the death penalty.
He subscribed to the execution of persons sentenced to death by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Responding to questions during his vetting before the Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday, the nominee said anyone who killed unjustifiably also deserved to be killed in accordance with the laws of the land.
“If the person is a murderer, and they have to be killed, they must be killed,” he stated.
Some human rights institutions and activists have made a case for the country to abolish the death penalty, explaining that it violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
One of such organisations, Amnesty International (AI), has described the death penalty as “the ultimate cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.”
AI opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; the guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the sentenced individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.
Although, death sentence remains on the country’s statute books, there has not been an execution in the country since 1993.
In its report of December 2011, the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) recommended that the death penalty be abolished under the new Constitution and replaced with life imprisonment without parole, and that such a move should be approved by a national referendum.
In 2012, the government accepted the CRC’s recommendations but implementation had not taken place.
Mr Tuah-Yeboah, who is a private legal practitioner based in Sunyani, said the execution of persons on death roll would serve as a deterrence to others.
Life precious but..
The lawyer, who also described himself as a human rights activist, said life was precious and any one who decided to take someone’s life without any justification must suffer the death penalty.
“I’m a realist and positivist. If we look at some of the murder cases that we’ve seen, especially when it comes to robbery with murder and the callous nature that some of them carry out those actions, I think we need to hold on [with the scrapping of the death penalty] at this stage.
“I think as we have in the USA, if this House and other stakeholders may want ,we should venture into grading murders. Some of them I subscribe to the full execution of their sentences, if it happens that they have to be killed, they must be killed,” he stated.
Mr Tuah Yeboah said at times the death penalty served as signals to others that it did not pay to kill.
“But as we have it now, people are sentenced to death, they are imprisoned at Nsawam, some of them, you may want to sympathise with them, but there are others that I think if we were to scrap the death sentence, we may have more murders,” he said.
Mr Tuah-Yeboah is a 2002 alumnus of the Ghana School of Law.
He had earlier graduated from the University of Ghana with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Law.
He holds a Diploma in Business Management from ICS, Glasgow, Scotland.
In 2017, he enrolled at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College where he graduated with an MSc, Defence, and International Politics.
He is a 2002 Ghana School of Law Kenneth D. Laryea Best Student in Law of Evidence.
Mr Tuah-Yeboah combines professional service and community service seamlessly.