Letters to the Editor

Yes, bring back hanging!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Jamaica is among 57 countries that still have capital punishment on the books.

According to human rights group Amnesty International's 2016 report, 1,032 executions were carried out in 23 of the 57 nations. At least 3,117 people have been sentenced to death in 55 of the 57 countries. At least 18,848 individuals, at the end of 2016, are under the death sentence.

For those who are worried about what the US will say, fret not! As of 2016, 31 US states have capital punishment. Nearly over 3,000 inmates are on death row. In 2017, 23 people where executed and 39 where given death sentences according to the US Death Penalty Information Center.

In February 1988 Nathan Foster was the last Jamaican to be executed (hanged), and we now experience over 1,500 murders annually.

I, like many, am not naive to think that reinstating hanging is the silver bullet to fighting crime, but also I'm not naive to think that every criminal is redeemable. Why should the people of Jamaica provide food and shelter for those found guilty at the highest court, especially serial killers and rapists? How can people serving life sentences without parole be rehabilitated?

Taxpayers have to fork out $1.3 million annually to maintain an inmate. Let's spend that money on social intervention in our communities, education, infrastructure, policing technology, and our justice system

Folks will argue against capital punishment and point to the problem of the police, but we must send the message that the law is very strict.

Like many Jamaicans I am happy to hear young Senator Matthew Samuda calling for his Administration to bring back hanging. I hope this time it will be more than talk.

It's time we start putting the rights of law-abiding citizens above criminal rights.

Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann


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