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Lawyer Martin calls for abolishing death penalty

Oct 19, 2010, 1:25 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Lawyer Assan Martin has expressed the need for the abolishment and repeal of all death penalty clauses in the laws of the country.

His call came barely one month after the National Assembly passed the amended Drug Control Act 2010, which prescribes the death penalty for persons found in possession of more than 250 grams of cocaine or heroine.

Martin, also a human rights lawyer, is of the view that the death penalty is not the solution to ending crime in our society.

His call was made in an interview with this reporter yesterday. He further called for a review and the repeal of all laws that provide for the death penalty, pointing out that certain reasons and concerns led to the abolishment of the death penalty in certain countries.

"Where the death penalty is exercised, innocent individuals or victims do also suffer. The wrong person may be executed," he said, adding that, in such situations, life cannot be compensated and the dead cannot be brought back.

He said evidence of such (innocent death) has warranted most nations today to abolish the death penalty in their legal system.

Noting that such laws are not a solution or deterrent to felonious crimes, Martin said the best option would be to substitute the death penalty with life imprisonment. 

He added that effective border policing coupled with a professional and well-trained drug enforcement agency are essential to preventing illicit drugs menace.

The private lawyer called on nations and governments to be sharing information on issues relating to drugs to ensure that they track the cartels.

Martin also called on nations and governments to seek public cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking.

"The first aim of justice," he went on, "is to reform offenders so that they can return to society as good persons".