Sierra Leone - Without a Working Legal System
By Abdul Suhood Komeh
Theatrics, the folly, in line with everything political in Sierra Leone these days. To laugh or to cry, is the choice. The latest instalment: the reactionary act of a government minister inspecting tests he announced, on gallows to reawaken the death penalty. Who's advising these people?
The moral arguments aside, it's beyond daft for a society like ours without a working legal system, or the investigation infrastructure - forensics, know-how and resources - to have a death penalty in 2016. Full stop.
Even the best of circumstances, in societies with superior economies and techniques, the death penalty is regarded a bad idea. Just on the grounds of irreversibility.
There's a clear distinction between law and justice. Laws that cannot be consistently applied/interpreted fairly serve no justice at all. Especially when they are open to manipulative miscarriages. The death penalty is the paramount example.
Lazy? Knee-jack? It may well be a Kanda Bongoman stunt. But it looks desperately arbitrary, for a government to dust-down a sensibly shelved punishment for crimes that are not symptoms but the fully-blown cancer of years of political failure. Talk of a resounding distraction from the real issues, this is it.
But hey, let's just say our country is never disposed to tackling problems at their root. If government is really serious, and want to be taken seriously about ending murderous crimes, perhaps they should extend the reach of capital punishment to corruption and poor governance too.
After all, it is corrupt politicians/civil servants, and lack of foresight in government that is producing high levels of fatal criminality in every society.
Not that a scientific study was needed, but every serious report has blamed a lack of health policies for the Ebola explosion. Imagine if one of the measures adopted to ensure a pandemic of that nature never returns to Sierra Leone, includes the death penalty for clumsy governance.
Imagine if the government was serious about criminal justice and created a reasonably fair legal system that is accessible to all, and we can hold government accountable for all avoidable Ebola, Cholera and other poverty-related deaths in the country. They would not dare suggest capital punishment, would they?
Fools we are, are we not? We, voted for them. It's too easy. They pursue laws to absolve themselves of any blame whatsoever.
Oona go learn!