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Let gallows swing

I was asked a while ago how I felt as far as the death penalty stands. I must say that I am for the death penalty as long as guilt is proven without a shadow of doubt and the murder is such that only the maximum will suffice. We can argue about it from now until next Hayley’s Comet visit, I still feel the death penalty should remain.

All this comes smack after a convicted murderer was released after serving nearly 30 years. He was on death row and was then given a life and is now a free man. He has paid for his crime as far as the law goes, but what is the family of the victim saying now?

I would then in the same breath that the family of the convicted must be feeling a great sigh of relief having a loved one back in their fold after so many years. He must have had to miss many births, deaths and other celebrations due to his own doing, but so too did the person who he was charged and convicted of murdering. The difference is he is alive to miss them and his victim is not.

I cannot ignore the fact that he is a NIFCA gold award winner in the art category, and I cannot ignore him being a model prisoner. I say after near 30 years who wouldn’t be. What will his role be in society now he has been released? Will he be able to gain a job or be in some way productive in this Barbados we live in? What will he say to the family of the deceased should he meet up on them in this little island?

He surely will need the support of his friends and family for a little while before he can be comfortable. Anyone looking in his direction, to him they are staring or jeering at him, which can be even more reason for discomfort. He has been fortunate to escape the noose and now to be free to have a life among us all. Should we be forgiving and let the past remain just that or should we be calling for blood?

September 3rd marked the second anniversary of the untimely death of six young ladies who had their lives cut short by a senseless act of crime. One of the two responsible for that act has just been given six life sentences. Many of us wished that he could have been given an even tougher penalty, but what could be tougher? The death penalty is the next in line for me, but since he was not charged with murder, he cannot face such a penalty.

I know when we get angry we all want to hear the gallows swing, but those gallows don’t seem to be swinging no time soon. Those who are presently on death row can probably breathe a lot easier as the longer they remain there the slimmer the chance of their being hanged.

So the Campus Trendz disaster was not an act of murder, but lives were lost. Will we be seeing this young man walking free one day because he has become a model prisoner? I guess not, but he can spend the rest of his life getting fluffy in jail knowing that he has caused tremendous pain and anger all at once with an entire island.

We will never get it as to why a young group of ladies had to perish but what is as horrific is the fact that they are some others out there who are capable of doing such again and all for money and brand name gear. We have to admit that there are some young men out there with limited brain capacity and I always say that the most dangerous criminal is a thief if caught or startled.

He is like a cat in a corner that will do more than just scratch his way out. He is a potential killer who will do what it takes to get away. I know of a few young men in such a category, and if they don’t somehow get rehabilitated, their next trip to jail will be on a murder or manslaughter charge. That may only change if they end up being killed themselves.

What will the law makers do to deter young men and women from taking up a life of crime that could lead to death? Are we going to continue to build larger prisons and not realise what the return rates of former inmates look like? These career criminals rope in others, and with a tough economy and lack of employment crime is the way some set to gain the money etc they desire. I say tougher measures need to be practised soon. Oil the gallows and start interviewing the hangman soon.

Things need to be taken to another level and I don’t see Amnesty or any other group being or creating a deterrent for these criminals so we need to get cracking sooner than later or just drop the death penalty and continue to have men brag about sitting down in jail after killing another.

To the families on either side it will forever be a tragedy, and my heart goes out to you all, but I have little forgiveness for the guilty killer. Something must be done to reclaim this society from such acts of lawlessness.

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