19 Sep 2003

American Samoa Senate calls for submissions on use of lethal injections

10:28 am on 19 September 2003

American Samoa's Senate Legal Affairs Committee has called for public comment on a proposal to use lethal injection to carry out the territory's death penalty provisions.

Senator Lualemaga Faoa who is sponsoring the measure says the current death penalty law states that persons convicted of first degree murder be sentenced to death if a judge or jury so recommends, but does not say how execution is to be carried out.

The first hearings on the proposed measure were held last week when local church leaders and ministers were called to provide their views on the matter.

Many of those who spoke were opposed to the death penalty and any moves to implement a method of carrying it out.