Lawmakers in Sierra Leone have voted to abolish the death penalty and now awaits an approval from the country’s president.
Moving forward, offenders sentenced to death will rather have their punishment replaced with life imprisonment.
This has been celebrated by human rights activists who have campaigned for the death penalty to be abolished.
Should Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio approve the move by the parliament, the West African nation will become the 23rd African country to have abolished the death penalty.
Just last year alone 39 death sentences were handed down to convicts but since 1998 no one has been executed in Sierra Leone.
According to Amnesty International death sentences have often been commuted, but by the end of last year 94 people were still on death row.
In 2018 alone the Gambia and Burkina Faso all scrapped laws that allow for punishment by death.
Last year Chad became the latest African country to abolish the death penalty for terrorist activities.
But countries like Tanzania have refused to get rid of the punishment with the country’s High Court ruling against scrapping death penalty from its statute books.
The penalty thus remains in the laws of Tanzania and can be used to punish people.
Human rights activists filed a complaint against the law hoping it would be scrapped just like other African countries have done.
The activists claim the death penalty is unconstitutional and breaches the right to life.
Although nobody has been executed in Tanzania as a result of the law since 1994, the court said it ought to still remain in the books.