Sun | Sep 22, 2019

Death penalty to be revoked

Published:Wednesday | May 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM

PARAMARIBO (CMC):

Suriname, which has announced plans to remove the death penalty from its criminal books, says it will increase the maximum jail term for life sentences from 20 to 30 years.

Justice and Police Minister Edward Belfort said in addition to increasing the jail term for life sentences usually reserved for heinous crimes, the government is also moving to increase the jail term for criminals convicted of committing lesser crimes from 15 to 20 years.

Belfort said that the amendments are related to a draft modification of the Criminal Code that will soon be sent to the National Assembly for consideration.

The revised code will no longer feature the death penalty that Belfort described as an outdated piece of legislation that is irreversible once it is carried out. He also said that in his opinion it is not the government's prerogative to decide who lives or dies.

The justice minister has been very vocal about scrapping the capital punishment, saying in March that "countries that apply it would be expected to be the safest countries in the world, yet still have many murders committed on a daily basis".