OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - UN Coordinator in Papua: "Additional reflection is needed with regards to death penalty"

Monday, 3 February 2014

Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - "With regards to death penalty the government should take a bit of time for extra reflection. It is necessary to consider the next steps carefully and consider other options" says Roy Trivedy, UN representative resident in Port Moresby, urging the government to reconsider the reinstating of the death penalty, 50 years after the last execution in Papua New Guinea.
In a note sent to Fides, Trivedy explains: "Experience shows that the introduction of the death penalty is not an effective deterrent. All the research shows that in fact what matters is the confidence of the people on the certainty of punishment: when serious crimes are committed, the perpetrators will be arrested and punished within a reasonable period of time. It is the certainty rather than the severity of punishment that has to really discourage criminals".
The second problem, according to the UN representative, "is that regarding possible justice errors.
Even in highly and solid developed legal systems, there are real risks that people are wrongfully convicted and executed". Trivedy warns "the introduction of a tool that can have huge implications for the entire country and that will be a step backward". This is why he invokes "massive public awareness campaign to be carried out in Papua New Guinea, which would help people to understand", I express the hope of "alternative proposals" and "national dialogue", which includes all the components of society, on such a sensitive issue. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 03/02/2014)