Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A backward step in PNG

Papua new Guinea is one of many states which retain the death penalty on their books, but does not ever apply it. Now that may be about to change, with their parliament voting to implement the death penalty and extended it to new crimes:

PAPUA New Guinea will start executing people for aggravated rape, armed robbery or murder, following parliament's passing yesterday of a succession of bills aimed at combating the country's law and order crisis.

The Governor-General will announce the form of execution in each case, on advice from the cabinet - with a choice between electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, suffocation following anaesthetic or firing squad.

Yes, that's right - they're going to smother people and call it justice. A perfect example of how utterly barbaric the death penalty is.

This is a backwards step. Yes, PNG has a crime problem, but mindlessly increasing penalties isn't the solution. "Deterrence" is ineffective when criminals do not fear getting caught. PNG needs to invest in its police force so that they can actually do their jobs, rather than just posturing about being "tough".

Meanwhile, New Zealand currently gives $27 million a year in aid to PNG. I think we should be reconsidering that about now. We should not be supporting murder-states. If they want to kill people, they can pay their own way.