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I died and regain life many times in Prison - Ex-convict turned Pastor gives shocking revelation

A former convict who is backing calls for the nullification of the death penalty has shared his “ghastly” experience and how it feels to be put on death row.

Reformed and now a Pastor, Reverend David G’Mercie said he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1990 during the PNDC era.

He recounts how he and his colleagues “died” several times in the cells due to the psychological terror and the horrifying experiences they were exposed to as condemned prisoners, Ghanaweb reports.

Narrating his ordeal at the launch of the Death Sentence and Executions 2017 Report by Amnesty International's in Accra Thursday, he said, “It was a very gruesome experience. When I got into the condemned prison on the 1st of February, the 3rd of February 1990 there was an execution and in fact, I thought it was because of me they had come.”

The PNDC era saw many condemned prisoners executed unlike presently when Heads of State are unable to sign the death warrant for convicts to be killed.

According to Rev G’Mercie, since prisoners were not given prior notice to their execution, the fear of being called at any time to be hanged or shot was in itself frightening and killed him emotionally.

“When the executioners come, you don’t know who’s going to die. They begin to mention the names. When they mention one name and it’s not your name, before the second name, you’ll die! Because it could be your name,” he said.

He added, “If the names are ten, you’re going to die ten times and you’re going to resuscitate ten times and by the time they get to the end of that execution list, you’re already dead.”

Rev G’Mercie disclosed that he was nearly executed in 1993 but for the intervention of the then Secretary of Interior.

“That night, 19 condemned prisoners were picked. In fact we were 21 but because my name was dropped, another one had to be dropped because when they come in for the executions, they don’t execute even numbers… so they had to drop another person for the number to be 19 before my very eyes. It was a night I’ll never forget. I died and resuscitated 19 times,” he recalled.

He argues rehabilitating prisoners is a more effective punishment than sentencing them to death, therefore, backing calls for the complete removal of the defunct death penalty from Ghana’s statute books.

“I think rehabilitating the prisoner is more important than killing the prisoner because, in spite of all the killing that went on in Ghana, the crimes for which people were killed are still being committed today,” he maintained.

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