Monday, November 21, 2005

No execution in Tonga

Some time ago, I blogged about a murder case in Tonga which raised the spectre of Tonga's first execution since 1981. Having checked back, I'm pleased to see that the judge in the case has decided that the death penalty would be inappropriate:

Chief Justice Webster said that the Supreme Court’s view was, "for persons convicted of murder, life imprisonment is the rule and death sentence an exception. A real and abiding concern for the dignity of human life postulates resistance to taking life through law’s instrumentality. That ought not to be done save in the rarest of rare case when the alternative option is unquestionably foreclosed."

So, while the death penalty still remains on the books in Tonga, it looks like their de facto ban will remain in place.