#Article (Archive)

What People Say About The Death Penalty

Sep 23, 2009, 5:28 AM

Following the pronouncement by President Jammeh that his government will enforce death penalty to address the rate at which murder case increases in the country, this paper yesterday conducted a vox pop to sound the minds of people on the issue.


For Imam Abdoulie Fatty of State House Mosque, "death penalty is not new in Islam."

He added: "If anyone kills, God is angry with you." 

He said that in Islam "if someone kills, and is proven that it's deliberate, the authorities do ask the victim's immediate family if they could forgive, but if they cannot then the person must also be killed," saying it is the dictates of Sharia (Islamic law).

Imam Fatty revealed that there are different forms of death penalties, adding that everyone must be a policeman of his or her own, to help address the problem of murder.


Mr. Talibo Kongira, a community police based in Latrikunda Sabiji, said "I support the idea of the President regarding death penalty. The issue of murder is now becoming rampant in the country and this will no doubt address the situation. The Gambia is widely known as a peaceful country; therefore the problem of murder must be a concern for all. Every human being must enjoy his or her life. Therefore, I must commend the President for his concern for humanity."


Mrs. Mansa Samba, a market vendor and a native of Baddibu Saba said:  "Life is too precious for somebody to take it like what we are seeing in this country nowadays. I believe that the death penalty might help us," she concluded.


"I support the death penalty, as it will deter people from killing others. If the person has the mind to kill he or she should be killed.

That is my opinion," says one Mrs. Edith, a Nigerian-born businesswoman residing in the country.


For Malafi Badjie, a journalist, the death penalty should not be put into practice.

He said: "Death penalty would mean an eye for eye in the 21st century. It should not come into focus because it is not a corrective device as it would not give the murderer the chance to repent and change for the better."


For Saiba Keita, he has this to say "we have to change our attitudes towards each other as human beings, created by God the Almighty, who stated in the Holy Quran that if you kill, you should be killed too. For me, we have to be each other's keeper and have sympathy towards one another."


"Considering the trend of murder happenings nowadays in our country something urgent must be done to at least curtail it, if not completely stopped. If the death penalty is the only way that could curb the trend, then it must be put to practice for the good of all. Something strict should be done to minimise the unknown before. At first, murder occurs every 5 to 10 years, but it's now becoming almost a weekly affair," these are the words of a man who wants to remain anonymous.