44 prisoners on Death Row

Forty-five inmates are waiting on death row for the hangman's noose that will never come.

One of them has been on death row for 23 years.

Housing Minister Edmund Dillon, who fielded questions on behalf of the National Security Minister in the Lower House yesterday, made the disclosures in response to Opposition questions.

Death by hanging is part of this country's laws, but the Privy Council's ruling in the Pratt and Morgan case says it is inhumane to execute an inmate more than five years after sentencing.

The time it takes for cases and appeals to wind through the legal system often make it difficult to hang convicts.

Other than the one inmate who was sentenced to death in 1996, five inmates have been on death row for 10 to 11 years.

Eight inmates were sentenced to death eight years ago, another 16 have been on death row for three to five years, and 14 were only recently sentenced.


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