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Kill the death penalty

EU ambassador challenge region to abolish capital punishment

Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean have been “challenged” to take the “emotions” away from the debate on the death penalty and to abolish hanging as punishment for capital murder.

Europe’s point man in the Eastern Caribbean Ambassador Mikael Barfod has emphasized the European Union’s (EU) position that the death penalty is cruel and inhumane and does not deter criminals.

In a message for European Day against the Death Penalty which will be observed tomorrow, Barfor said he was  “pleased” that Barbados has not executed any convicted killers since 1984; that Grenada has not had an execution since 1978 and that “the last execution in any of our countries” was seven years ago in St. Kitts and Nevis.

The EU ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean countries, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and CARIFORUM acknowledged that while the death penalty remains on the books for Barbados and OECS “for historical reasons” there are changes.

He said he recognized that the mandatory death penalty in the OECS has been abolished since a 2002 Court of Appeal decision deemed it to be unconstitutional and that steps have been taken by Barbados to do the same. He argued that there has been a ‘de-facto” moratorium on capital punishment, but this was not enough.

“In line with this tendency and given the existence of a de-facto moratorium because of the length of time since an execution has been carried out, the next step should be taken: accepting a legal moratorium,” Barfor said in his statement.

The European diplomat admitted that the rise in crime has given fresh impetus to proponents of hanging, but he called on regional leaders to “show more courage” and lead the charge against capital punishment.

“With the increase in crime, particularly murders, in recent times, there have been renewed calls for the death penalty. Despite the support that the use of the death penalty still receives in Caribbean communities, I challenge leaders to show more courage, launch a public debate and lead the way in the fight against the death penalty.

“The EU sees the death penalty as cruel and inhumane, and scientific research has shown that the death penalty in no way acts as a deterrent to crime. Its abolition is essential for the protection of human dignity, as well as for the progressive development of human rights. This is a moral issue about the value of human life. As a deeply religious Caribbean society this is one of the basic tenets that as a community we hold dear. Sentiments such as ‘it is cheaper to kill them than to keep them in prison’ have no place in this era of civilization,” he stated.

Barfor made reference to “a worldwide movement” against the act and stressed that “even here in the Caribbean” the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname have abolished it. He also appealed to Caribbean leaders to join the “international outcry” that is “also well present” in the United Nations by supporting the biennial resolution establishing a moratorium on executions, with the goal of abolishing the death penalty.

“I take this opportunity to urge your leaders to vote in favour of such a moratorium or at least to abstain, instead of voting against it, reflecting the situation of no executions on the ground for almost ten years!

“For those who may yet be not convinced, I make a call for a debate between the stakeholders, including the church and the legal fraternity. Let us put the facts to the test and come up with a position based on principles and not on emotions and historical customs,” the ambassador’s statement said. “The EU remains strongly committed to this fight.”

7 Responses to Kill the death penalty

  1. Thomas Katt
    Thomas Katt October 10, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Why don’t you go and kill yourself? It’s cruel and inhumane you say, but when the perpetrator goes and murder someone, it’s not cruel and humane? It’s a deterrent for the murderer, cause he can’t kill again. But it’s not supposed to be a deterrent but a punishment which is just. So gway son of Satan

  2. Vernon Chandler October 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I also believe that the death penalty should not be used at all. But unlike this…person & others who call for its abolition, I have a more viable solution. If all the murderers & would-be murderers were to stop killing people then there would be absolutely no reason for the death penalty. It would never have to be applied. So for all those who want the death penalty abolished, simply stop focusing on the consequence of murder & start focusing on cause.

    By the way, do anyone who call for the abolition of this punishment ever take the time to visit the victims’ families or give them financial or psychological assistance? Or do they just focus on assisting the murderer who chose to commit the crime? Just wondering.

  3. carson c cadogan October 10, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I agree 100% with you.

    Barbados is presently in breach of an international agreement on removing the death penalty. We have signed the agreement on behalf of the people of Barbados yet we refused to keep our word on the matter.

    That is tarnishing the reputation of Barbados in the International arena. Then we foolishly wonder why Barbados is coming pressure from the international community.

    The Death penalty is barbaric and must be removed. What is the difference between the State killing a citizen and a miscreant killing a person. None whatsoever.

    “They kill. To feel safe. It almost never worked.”
    ― Louise Penny, Bury Your Dead

    • Vernon Chandler October 10, 2015 at 9:37 am

      But it isn’t like if it is a barbaric penalty for a civilized crime. Murder is the oldest & most barbaric crime there is. So must we use civilized means to deal with barbaric criminal acts which cause cruel & inhumane pain & suffering to innocent families? Should we give murderers a pat on the back & 3 square meals along with flat-screen television…paid for with taxpayers’ dollars? That almost never worked.
      The difference between the State killing a citizen & a miscreant killing a person can be liken to the difference between a family & a doctor making the tearful & difficult decision to remove a brain-dead, comatose person off life support, compared to a man walking off the street & pumping 2 bullets in the brain-dead’s person head because he is wearing a gold bracelet that they want.
      At least Ms. Louise Perry use the words ‘almost never’ which is an admission that it works sometimes.

  4. Alex Alleyne October 10, 2015 at 9:28 am

    When last did Barbados hang someone ? . It is still on the books but it will never be carried again in BIM as long as the first world countries keep lending us money. If the Caribbean can function free with out outside help , then most of the thing its citizens need will stand . TEXAS kill people like flies ,but very little pressure is put on that state.

  5. Alex Alleyne October 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

    A piece of rope cost about BDS$10.00 while a lethal injection cost about US$1,500 .This drug is not made in the USA. It is made in Europe.
    The Caribbean in turn will have to buy this drug from the EU.
    Do the math.

  6. carson c cadogan October 10, 2015 at 11:58 am

    The sooner the Death penalty is abolished , the better for Barbados.

    We would have entered the realm of the Civilized as far as Jurisprudence is concerned.


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