Prisoners on death row are to be freed after serving 20 years in jail, the Government has said.
State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte said that as soon as approval is granted to a Cabinet paper presented by the Ministry of Justice, the death sentence will be reduced to 20 years in jail.
Accordingly, inmates on death row, who have already completed 20 years in jail will be freed.
This was mentioned at the Ministerial Consultative Committee meeting on Justice held at the Parliament complex.
Ratwatte said that steps are being taken to reduce the number of prisoners in order to address the congestion issue in the prison system.
The State Minister pointed out that there are 28, 951 inmates in the 28 prisons across the country.
Accordingly, the Minister stated that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has issued a directive to release inmates who can be granted a pardon especially given the coronavirus situation.
The Commissioner General of Prisons, Thushara Upuldeniya pointed out that there are approximately 10,500 inmates in jail for drug related offences out of which 8500 are related to heroin. (Colombo Gazette)