Hangman to be called back to curb crime

Despite objections from Human rights and religious groups the government had decided to re-introduce Capital Punishment as a means of curbing the alarming increase in organised crime, sources said yesterday.

Recent protests by the public calling for the re-introduction of capital punishment for those who murdered two youth in Angulana last week caused the High level joint Task Force, headed by Minister of Justice and Judicial Reforms Milinda Moragoda to recommend the re-introduction of death penalty.

Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Judicial Reforms, Suhada K. Gamlath, is to submit a list of persons in death row to President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week.

This unanimous policy decision was arrived at following the meeting of the High Level Joint Task Force, which comprised Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Justice and judicial Reforms Suhada K. Gamlath, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jayantha Wickremaratne, Commissioner General of Prisons Major General Y. R. de Silva and other officials, chaired by Minister of Justice and Judicial Reforms Milinda Moragoda, who met at the Ministry of Defence last Tuesday.

Since 2006, about 184 persons have had death sentence commuted to life imprisonment. Nearly 541 have appealed against death sentence with 256 persons in the death row, whose appeals have been rejected. Of them 175, including six women, are in the Welikada Prison while 77 are in the Bogambara Prison.

The last person to be hanged before death penalty was suspended by President J. R. Jayewardene in 1978 was notorious killer Maru Sira.

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