17 Jan 2004

Samoa plans to abolish death penalty

7:46 am on 17 January 2004

Samoa plans to abolish the death penalty, 52 years after the country's last execution - when a man was hanged for axing his wife to death.

The death penalty has remained on the law books since 1952, despite all death sentences being commuted to life imprisonment since.

Speaking in support of his bill, the prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, told parliament that if executions were not going to be carried out, there was no point having them as an option.

The opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, said he supported the bill.