Death Penalty, 6th Edition

From Zambian Economist Fri Feb 15 2013, 01:37:00

The death penalty is here to stay. Delegates at nearly all provincial constitutional conferences have retained article 28 clause (3) of current draft constitution, which states that "A person may be deprived of life if that person has been convicted of a capital offence and sentenced to death".

The arguments advanced by the delegates for the death penalty seems to largely rest on its alleged "deterrent effect". Chifumu Banda MP says Zambia needs to maintain the death penalty because "some people would take advantage of the deletion and go on rampage killing people". He goes to suggest that, "people found guilty of murder by courts of law should be meted with capital punishment as a way of deterring other criminals that claim the lives of innocent people...".

Dora Siliya MP says we need to learn from other countries who are allegedly facing problems because of abolishing capital punishment. In her words, "other countries are now regretting because they abolished capital punishment and implemented life in prison because killings have now doubled and committing various atrocities.."

There are many credible reasons for having the death penalty. But the reasons being offered appears to be refuted in academic literature. One paper published in 2009 drawing on USA evidence concludes : "with state-level data from 1995 to 2006, this paper failed to find meaningful deterrent effect of death penalty...results show that even the state with most execution record does not have statistically meaningful lower homicide rate than no death penalty states...". One needs to be cautious about transferring results from different contexts but I think we can reasonably assume that Chifumu and Siliya are worryingly offering the wrong reasons.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Burkina Faso:   Army Chief Takes Over (news)
Deutsche Welle
31 October 2014

The head of Burkina Faso's armed forces has taken power after mass demonstrations forced President Blaise Compaore to resign. There have been days of violent protests against the leader's 27-year ... [read more]

Africa:   Compaore's Ouster a Warning to Africa's Remaining Dictators (opinion)
The Guardian
31 October 2014

THE ouster of one of Africa's remaining military dictators-turned-politician and former Burkina Faso President, Blaise Compaore, who announced his resignation Friday following violent protests over ... [read more]

Africa:   Ebola Threatens Africa's Tourism Industry (analysis)
Deutsche Welle
31 October 2014

Canceled trips and frightened tourists - the Ebola crisis is now also affecting Africa's tourism industry. Travelers avoid not only the Ebola-stricken countries but the entire continent. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!