No noose

Criminologist warns that hanging will not stop crime

A recent study by this country’s Criminal Justice Unit shows that 80 per cent of Barbadians support the retention of the death penalty on this country’s statute books.

However, Kim Ramsay, a senior researcher with the Government-run unit, Wednesday night warned that this strong retentionist sentiment, which she expects local politicians to pay attention to, “comes into conflict with the broad jurisdiction of international human rights tribunals”.

Kim Ramsay
Kim Ramsay

The island has been under pressure from international organizations such as Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to do away with the death penalty, which was deemed too harsh and said to be in breach of international law.

Back in 2014, Government had announced plans to abolish the mandatory death sentence for murder with Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite stating at the time that he expected strong opposition to the plan, as many believe the death penalty was an appropriate punishment.

Brathwaite had also promised that Government would engage the population in a big public debate before the proposal was tabled in Parliament.

“Barbadians generally feel that once you commit murder you should forfeit your lives, but that is until one of their family members is involved,” Brathwaite had said.

“I know it will be a battle but . . . . I believe that it is a better path for the country,” he added at the time.

However, the provision remains on the statute books and delivering a lecture here last night on criminal justice, Ramsay revealed that an overwhelming number of Barbadians want it to remain there.

“Eighty per cent of our Barbadians, based on a study we did, indicated that they want the death penalty retained.

“So this retentionist sentiment, which obviously politicians have to pay attention to, comes into conflict with the broad jurisdiction of international human rights tribunals,” she said, while warning that Britain has also been waving a big stick over this island’s trade.

Therefore, “‘if you do not comply with what I say, then we start to pull away things from you,’” she said in reference to pressure from the UK, while further cautioning that “it puts us in a very precarious position”.

Ramsay, a criminologist of 14 years experience, went on to suggest that this was one of the reasons “why we have not had any executions since 1984”.

She also explained why she differed with most Barbadians on the use of the death penalty, which remains on the island’s statute books as the automatic punishment for convicted murderers, even though no one has been hanged here in 32 years.

“I don’t believe that the death penalty is effective in reducing our criminal problems,” she said, adding that she was yet to see how executions of condemned criminals would reduce crime in any jurisdiction.

“There is crime in any country, no matter what systems you have in place,” she insisted, while highlighting the fact that the Caribbean has one of the highest homicide rates in the Americas.

“I have to agree with the international agencies, the international rights, the treaties that we’ve signed on to,” Ramsay said while adding that she was a firm believer in dealing with problems at the root.

However, she argued that “a lot of our problems are societal problems.

“I think that is how we need to address crime, from a societal point, as opposed to coming in at the back end,” she said. 

8 Responses to No noose

  1. Brien King
    Brien King October 21, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Stale news from a hypocrite, if someone was to kill a love one of yours, it would be interesting to see your reaction. All this talk, looking at your logic of thinking, if a cockroach was to fly into your food that you now sat down to eat, would you kill it or just watch it eat what it want and go ? Or if you saw someone leap over your fence and kill your child before your eyes and you got to them before they escape, would you kill them for killing your child or just ask them why they did it and call the police as they escape after your question ?
    Barbados needs to handle it’s matters far better and stop relying on others for assistance and help because that’s where most control is gain. That is how Barbados was force into doing many things the country was not even thinking about. If the powers that be in this world want Barbados to do what they want, they look at what you rely on and threaten to cut it if they don’t have their way. They have been successful over the years with most things but not all.
    This country doesn’t have GOD and HIS instructions first in their lives so most outside pressure would work, some don’t even believe there is a GOD and it is even easier to get them down any road they wish.

  2. Hal Austin October 21, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Most Barbadians want to be hangmen. It is barbaric, savage and primitive.

  3. harry turnover October 21, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Kim Ramsay …the FIRST thing one has to look at in my opinion IS ..if a person DELIBERATELY or INTENTIONALLY KILLS.. he SHOULD BE HANG and stop looking at this deterrent NONSENSE.
    Stop looking at what MIGHT or MIGHT NOT happen in the FUTURE and concentrate on what HAPPENED AT THE MOMENT,NOW,AT THE PRESENT TIME,PRONTO.
    Somebody brek into somebody home and kill somebody,….somebody cut off two people heads and the first thing that gine come to your mind is that hanging them would not act as a deterrent ???

  4. Kevin October 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

    OK, abandon the hangman, introduce lethal injection.

  5. Phil October 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    If a dog or an animal kills a human, Never mind if that human caused it, or that animal saved the lives of humans before, we put down that animal. If a human behaves like an animal and kills another human, that animalistic human is set free to possibly kill again. Some logic eh? I agree with Kevin. introduce lethal Injection, Yes God is love. He sends tsunamis, flash floods, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes volcanos and the whole lot that kill e tens of thousands. Then that same God, who so loved this world which he supposedly created, willo send one big ass burning rock called an asteroid to destroy his great creation. If he (god) made everything, who or what made him? and how long ago.???

  6. seagul October 21, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    This topic is a distraction. Let’s us take a hard look at how we the builders are being almost enslaved again by this JADA etc….

  7. Lennox hewitt October 21, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Look de resons we cannot get people hang is de right body n get kill yet let certin big people family n get kill yet so don’t mind dem talking anyone could tell me how much people get murdered n barbados dat is family to certin biggup people n bim .

  8. CHARLES S. CADOGAN SR October 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    If someone should take a life in self-defense,I can go along with that person doing prison time. But if anyone willfully takes the life of another person. Then that person should also pay with their lives. I am not for hanging because I think that’s old fashion. And should be REPLACED with death by electrocution,or by lethal injections. But I do strongly feel that person or persons should pay for the taking of that person,or person’s life;
    Barbados HAS to stand by what makes a difference for Barbados. Amnesty International or any other Organization should not force their feelings on the Government of Barbados in any way form or fashion like a threat; People seem to not care about the life of another human being if they know that all is going to happen is they will go to jail. And the taxpayers will have to clothes,house and feed them until they die. You did the crime, then deal with the punishment that goes along with it.


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