The Sierra Leonean Parliament Has Drafted a Law Repealing the Death Penalty
Sierra Leone's parliament passed a measure eliminating the death penalty on Friday. If given presidential approval, the west African country will become the continent's 23rd country to abolish the death penalty. Murder, treason, mutiny, and aggravated robbery are all punishable by death under the country's judicial system.
In addition, the country's Criminal Procedure Act mandates that the sentence be carried out by hanging by the neck or firing squad in the case of a court martial. Moreover, since the horrific execution of 24 soldiers for treason in 1998, the government has placed a moratorium on executions. Despite this, the death penalty has remained in effect since then, with 99 individuals on execution row as of June 2020. Execution penalty opponents have lamented the suffering that comes with being on death row.
Conclusively, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has Sierra Leone as a signatory. The second optional protocol on the abolition of the death penalty, however, has yet to be signed. The country is on its way to joining the increasing list of African countries that have abolished the death penalty.