American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has submitted legislation to the Fono to repeal the death penalty.
He says while he recognises the need for lawmakers and the courts to be tough on murderers, there is currently no practical way to humanely impose the death penalty.
The Governor says in other U.S. jurisdictions where the death penalty is available they have the funding for the equipment to carry out the sentence and to ensure the condemned person's constitutional rights are protected.
He says without this funding the death penalty is not a deterrent to heinous crimes but tough talk and an empty threat.
He is proposing that the sole penalty for murder in the first degree be life imprisonment.