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General News of Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Source: Mark Boye

Chief Justice must be clear on death penalty - Armah-Kofi Buah

Hon. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Member of Parliament for Ellembele has asked the new Chief Justice, Sophia Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo to categorically state her position on the issue of the Death Penalty.

Speaking with a cross section of journalists shortly after parliament approved of the Chief Justice approval, Kofi Buah said it was important the Chief Justice clarifies her position on the death penalty.

According to him, the CJ’s response to questions that since the death penalty is still on the statutory books and until it’s scrapped the courts was obliged to resort to it was unconvincing.

Whiles answering questions by the vetting committee prior to her approval and subsequent swearing in BY President Akufo Addo, the Chief Justice stressed that the courts are obliged to resort to the death penalty and called on the members of parliament, as the representatives of the people to take the necessary steps to remove the death penalty if, in their view, it should be removed.

But in the opinion of Hon. Buah, the CJ gave a general answer to the issue, saying she could have stated her position on the matter. “I think that in reviewing the report I have a specific issue, she couldn’t state her personal view on the death penalty but I think it’s very important that the people of Ghana must know her opinion on the death penalty’. He continued that the CJ should have stated her personal view on the matter, adding that even though it’s in the statutory books, as a CJ she should have gone beyond to state her view on it.

Going forward, Hon. Buah said we should know the views of the justices of the high court, on say, the death penalty, their views on abortion, their views on gay rights and other important issues.

“So that when it comes to empanelling judges to deal with critical issues we have some ideas about their positions on some specific issues”.