Tue | Apr 25, 2017

Suriname abolishes death penalty

Published:Friday | March 6, 2015 | 3:08 PM

The National Assembly has approved legislation formally abolishing the death penalty in Suriname.

But the legislators raised the highest prison term limits from 30 to 50 years in what is seen as a compromise to amending the Criminal code.

Parliament also scrapped conditional release for people convicted of capital crimes.

Convicts doing time for murder, manslaughter, sexual offences or major drug crimes are now no longer eligible for release after serving three quarters of their sentences.

Justice Minister Edward Belfort had initially suggested that that maximum jail sentence be increased to 30 years, but parliamentarians deemed it necessary to send an even stronger signal to criminals.

Crime has been on the rise and parliamentarians argued that criminals were exhibiting almost sadistic behaviour, often leaving victims dead or gravely injured.