Thursday, January 13, 2022

One country at a time

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has announced that he intends to abolish the death penalty:

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says his government is doing away with the death penalty and those now on death row will instead serve life sentences without parole.

Marape told members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church holding their 33rd synod in Port Moresby that PNG was a Christian nation and the death penalty was out of place.

"The Bible says thou shall not kill and the government has removed, by policy, the clause on the death penalty," PNG newspaper The National on Wednesday quoted him as saying.

This is good news - things had seemed to be going in the other direction in PNG, with a move just last year to finally allow executions. But an announcement isn't law, and PNG's death row prisoners will only be safe from execution when legislation is passed.

When enacted, Tonga will be the only (independent) holdout in the South Pacific. So I guess we can expect the pressure to go on them to make Oceania a death-penalty-free zone.