Law News
No going back on death penalty, says Lagos

The Lagos State Government has said it will not take death penalty for armed robbers and murderers out of its Criminal Law.

The government, in a statement on Wednesday, said its decision to retain the death penalty for such offenders was informed by the responses it got from a segment of Lagosians whose opinions were sought on whether or not to outlaw the death sentence in the state.

According to the statement, the state government embarked on the survey following several campaigns and international advocacy on abolition of death sentence.

It said it found out that majority of Lagosians were in support of death penalty for armed robbers, murderers and perpetrators of other heinous crimes because it would serve as a deterrent to others.

The survey captured the views of 2, 000 members of the public and 200 experts in criminal justice.

According to the release, when asked whether criminals currently on death row in the state should be executed, about 1,124 out of the total 2,200 opinions sampled responded in the affirmative.

Their reason was that death penalty remained a necessary retributive tool to deter criminal activities in the state.

The survey, however, revealed that majority of the respondents agreed that death penalty had a traumatic effect on families of condemned criminals.

It also revealed that a large number of the respondents who were not in favour of death penalty were women, while more males, older people and “less – religious people” supported the death penalty.

The statement said, “Majority of the respondents surveyed supported the use of the death penalty in Lagos State. The survey also revealed that over 54 per cent of the respondents advised the Lagos State Government to execute convicts on death row.

“A large number of respondents also believed that the death penalty is a necessary retributive tool and a majority of the respondents recommended that the state should retain death penalty because it serves positive retributive and deterrence purposes.

“In the light of the results of the perceptions and expert survey, the Lagos State Executive Council adopted the position that the death penalty should be retained in the Criminal Law of Lagos State to serve as a deterrence against violent crimes, such as murder and armed robbery.”

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