American Samoa wants to ditch death penalty

Last updated 12:10 13/09/2012

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American Samoa's governor wants to get rid of the death penalty in the US territory.

Governor Togiola Tulafono has moved to repeal the death penalty, making life in prison the only punishment for those convicted of first-degree murder.

He says at least 40 years must be served before parole or probation is possible.

The territory hasn't witnessed an execution in more than 50 years, when a man was hanged for killing another man with a machete.

Tulafono wrote to lawmakers Tuesday (local time) there's no way to humanely impose the death penalty, which currently doesn't provide an execution method.

His proposal comes two months after the attorney general's office withdrew the death penalty in a case against Siaumau Siaumau Jr, who is accused in the 2010 shooting death of a police lieutenant.

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