22 Jun 2012

American Samoa push against death penalty in Siaumau case

12:30 pm on 22 June 2012

The American Samoa governor Togiola Tulafono has reportedly asked the government prosecutor to withdraw the option of the death penalty in the case against Siaumau Siaumau Jr., who is accused of the killing a police officer in 2010.

Samoa News says the governor's request to the Attorney General's Office was made recently.

It says Togiola argues that American Samoa is a Christian country and does not need a death penalty.

Siaumau is charged with murder in the first degree, which prompted the prosecution to tell the court in 2010 it will pursue the death penalty.

Our correspondent says the last time the death penalty was carried out in the territory was about 50 years ago.