Duncan-Williams supports  abolishment of death penalty

Story: News Desk

The presiding archbishop and general overseer of the Action Chapel International ministry, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, has expressed his support for the abolishment of the death penalty.

In a statement, Archbishop Duncan-Williams acknowledged the arguments presented both for and against the abolition of the death penalty in Ghana.

He emphasized that the abolition of the death penalty aligns with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, stating that God created life, and it is only God who has the authority to take life. Therefore, he wholeheartedly supports the objective of the bill to abolish the death penalty.

Members of Parliament (MPs) are currently divided over the report of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on the Criminal Offences Amendment Act, which aims to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment.

While the death penalty was inherited from the colonial administration and has historically been a punishment for offences such as murder, attempted murder, genocide, piracy, and smuggling of gold or diamonds, Ghana has not executed any offenders since 1993.

During the parliamentary debate on the amendment bill, lawmakers expressed divergent views regarding the abolishment of the death penalty.

MP for Zebilla Constituency, Cletus Avoka, voiced his disagreement, stating, “I first submit that the arguments they have advanced in terms of the motion are very scary and have no measures at all. Arguments in favour of the motion are unmeritorious.”

Archbishop Duncan-Williams, in his statement, emphasized that as a society, it was  contradictory to condemn killing while simultaneously using killing as a form of punishment.

“As a society, we cannot condemn killing and yet use killing as a form of punishment.

“As children of God, we are to live in harmony, love our neighbours as ourselves and show mercy to the oppressed and afflicted. The Scriptures give us guidance: in Romans 12:19-21, the Bible says “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

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