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:

Africa:   'Decisive Moment for Democracy' - John Kerry (guest column)
6 October 2015

Last May, I shared in an extraordinary moment. I had the privilege, together with many leaders from across Africa, of bearing witness to the first peaceful, democratic transition of power between two ... [read more]

Nigeria:   Unmaking Nigeria's Boko Haram (analysis)
1 October 2015

Is Nigeria attempting the impossible in trying to de-radicalise Boko Haram militants? IRIN’s Editor-at-Large Obi Anyadike speaks to the prisoners, their victims, and the de-rad “treatment ... [read more]

Nigeria:   UK Court Seizes Cash From Former Oil Minister (news)
Premium Times
5 October 2015

The Westminster Magistrate's Court on Marylebone Road, London, on Monday granted an application for seizure of 27,000 pounds seized from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani ... [read more]

blogAfrica is'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!

Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...