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Gambia’s president vows to abolish death penalty

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President Adama Barrow has vowed to abolish the death penalty from the law books of The Gambia as soon as the necessary legislation reaches his signature. The latest commitment by the President against the death penalty was conveyed by Government Spokesman Ebrima Sankareh, who told GRTS that President Barrow is of the view that the law does not stop murder, manslaughter or the likes.
“And when mistakes occur, example a wrong person is executed, it is going to be a very expensive mistake that is not reparable,” Sankareh said, quoting President Barrow.
He further revealed that the president has a strong view that The Gambia should have removed the death penalty long since and his government will ensure that it is taken out as soon as possible.
Since independence, the death penalty was used only twice in The Gambia, in the 1980s when Mustapha Danso, accused of multiple murders before and during 1981 coup plot, was executed under President Jawara and 2012 under Yahya Jammeh when 9 people were put to death by the state.

That single execution drew widespread criticisms around the world forcing Jammeh to announce a moratorium on the death penalty but refused to commit himself to its total abolishment.
Currently the Constitutional Review Commission, the body tasked to draft a new constitution, has during consultations received numerous calls for the abolishment of the death penalty.
Meanwhile in the same interview, the Government spokesman revealed that the Gambia College School of Education will open a campus in Basse to enroll mainly female students.
“This will remove the burden of relocating to the Kombos to attend classes for college students from that part of the country,” Sankareh said.

Source: The Standard newspaper

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