(Nov. 2, 2007) L'Essor, a government newspaper in Mali, reported on its Web site on October 18, 2007, that the Cabinet had passed a bill on the abolition of capital punishment, replacing it with life imprisonment. It had been a penalty that could be imposed under article 4 of the August 20, 2001, penal code. However, although death sentences were handed down in the country, none had been carried out since 1980; instead the sentences have been commuted by the president to life imprisonment.
The decision was the result of a Cabinet session held on October 17, 2007. The government Web site statement on the change states:
- It is true that our country's high authorities, deeply imbued with values of humanism, chose not to take human life, be it that of a criminal. The abolition of the death sentence, which changes into law what was only a practice, is set within this framework of the respect for life in conformity with the sacred values of humanism, clemency, compassion and pardon that are part of our society.
(Malian Cabinet Abolishes Death Sentence for Life in Prison, OSC SUMMARY, Oct. 18, 2007, Open Source Center No. AFP20071018950048.)