When the High Court sentenced Lang Tombong Tamba, Omar Bun Mbye, Bo Badjie, Kawsu Camara (alias bombardier), Modou Gaye, Gibril Ngorr Secka and Abdoulie Joof to death, Foroyaa did not hesitate to point out that the only reason why the provision on the protection to the right to life in the 1997 Constitution was superior to that of the 1970 Constitution is Subsection 2 of Section 18 of the Constitution.
Subsection 2 reads: “As from the coming into force of this constitution , no court in the Gambia shall be competent to impose a sentence of death for any offence unless the offence is prescribed by law and the offence involves violence, or the administration of any toxic substance, resulting in the death of another person.”
Simply put, a court is barred from imposing a death sentence on anyone who has not killed another.
This means that all the death sentences for treason under the criminal code should be amended to conform with the provisions of the Constitution or should be disregarded as null and void by courts when no evidence of killing is given during a trial.
We were surprised how this unambiguous provision could be subjected to misinterpretation by any legal mind and the Supreme Court has served the cause of justice by giving the provision its proper interpretation.
Pardon should follow to end the nightmare of spending years on death row and not knowing when the end would come.