President commutes death sentence of 60 prisoners to life imprisonment
February 4, 2017 06:12 pm
President Maithripala Sirisena has commuted 60 prisoners who were on death row in jails to life imprisonment, in view of the country’s 69th Independence Day which was celebrated on Saturday.
Prisons Commissioner, Nishan Danasinghe told Xinhua the prisoners had their sentences commuted following a recommendation made by Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakse.
Rajapakse made this recommendation based on a report of an expert committee he had appointed to look into the commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.
Most of the prisoners who had their sentences commuted were charged with murder.
Some of them also included senior prisoners who were in Sri Lankan jails for many years.
Although Sri Lankan courts have handed out the death penalty in serious crimes such as murder, rape and drug trafficking, no executions have been carried out in the island country since 1976.
All death penalty cases have been commuted to life in prison.