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Malawi now becomes the 22nd sub-Saharan country to abolish the death penalty as a Supreme Court sitting in the country ruled death penalty as unconstitutional.

A hangman’s noose on black background. Rope, black, hangman, despair, failure, noose, execution, crime, suicide, punishment, death

The court explained that the death penalty was against international human rights standards. Which in turn means that a life sentence will be the highest punishment in Malawi.

The Malawi Human Rights Commission described the ruling as progress. The ruling noted there had been no executions in the country since 1975.

However, Malawian social justice advocate Alexious Kamangila stated that the death sentence did not necessarily deter criminal activities, adding that other forms of punishment were good enough.

“The death penalty targets the poorest in Malawi and other places – those who cannot afford proper legal representation are the ones who are more likely to face death penalty,” he said.