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GCL Says Death Penalty For Killers Of Police Officers Is Not The Answer

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The Greater Caribbean for Life (GCL) considers that the recent declaration of the Caribbean Federation of Police Welfare Associations (CFPWA) calling “for the death penalty to be applied to anyone found guilty of killing a police officer” is misguided.

Whenever there is a spike in crime in any country in our region, there are always some voices calling for the resumption of capital punishment.

GCL sees the CFPWA’s call as an opportunity to evaluate whether this Association’s proposal is the best solution to addressing the heinous crime of murder of any police officer, or indeed, of any person. We believe that it will not contribute to the desired reduction in crime and violence in our region.

GCL firmly agrees with CFPWA that the life of each Police Officer matters, as is the life of each person. GCL’s record is clear.

Since our foundation in 2013, we have consistently expressed our solidarity with the victims of crime of capital cases and violence in our societies. GCL continues to call on States to provide more effective responses to the needs of victims of crime.

Members of our organisation live in the region and are not exempt from crime and violence which adversely impact all our lives. However, we recommend solutions that are more in keeping with building just, peaceful societies and nurturing adherents to the rule of law.

There is no empirical evidence to show that capital punishment for the murder of police officers, or murder in general, reduces homicides and violence.

This argument for the death penalty is based on opinions and misconceptions rather than facts. One good example is the situation in the United States, the only country in the Americas where people are executed annually.

A study conducted there by the Death Penalty Information Center in 2017 concluded that during the 19 years (1987 to 2015), the police officer murder rate was higher in the death penalty states (0.218 murders per one million population) than the rate in the United States (0.195) or non-death penalty states (0.159). Texas is by far the state with more executions and the state with more murders of police officers in the entire country.

Another report issued by the Death Penalty Information Center in 2009 showed the results of a survey made to a sample of 500 police chiefs selected randomly in the United States.

The findings of this study are overwhelming: “When asked to name one area as ‘most important for reducing violent crime,’ greater use of the death penalty ranked last among the police chiefs, with only 1% listing it as the best way to reduce violence. Instead, increasing the number of police officers, reducing drug abuse, and creating a better economy and more jobs all ranked much higher than the death penalty. In addition, law enforcement officers have added their voices to campaign against capital punishment.’ ”

State executions are not a feasible alternative to reduce crime. There are non-lethal alternatives to deal with the root causes of violence and murder.

We invite the CFPWA, and other parties interested in developing effective long-term solutions, to initiate urgent and effective dialogue with our Governments. Let’s stop crime, not lives!

SOURCE: The Greater Caribbean for Life

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Your findings amount to a pile of crap; this is too much of a generalization for the situation in St. Lucia right now. We have pleaded, we have prayed we have tried everything, yet the criminals go out on a daily basis, robbing killing and at will do whatever they wish because they carry a gun. These animals deserve one thing, a dose of their own medicine. I can only talk for St. Lucia; people are paranoid, scared out of their wits, even at schools; Lord send us help. Amen.

  2. Anytime Evidence is Gàthered on a Murder Scene and the Culprit is arrested and Charged .Taken to Court and Found Guilty He or She Should be Executed .So what the Decease Family and Children Don’t deserve Justice for their Love one

  3. Ok GCL….you provided no alternative but offered a general statement on the death penalty….what are your solutions crime…lay them out for us read…you just made a general statement without offering any concrete options…Typical.

  4. Now for some serious insight into this death penalty issue…..I am all for individual freedoms and liberties, freedom of speech, freedom from oppression, right to life etc etc….yet, if one notes human behaviour, it is a fact well known that some humans will push the boundaries beyond what society expects… society expects citizens to live their lives to the fullest and be an active part, contributing to the greater good of the whole…yet, there will be persons who breach society’s trust …as in the case of committing murder…and therefore society needs a deterrent to prevent those citizens hell bent on breaking their contract to society from breaching those boundaries…notice the major world powers have a nuclear deterrent…why? To prevent others from who may act on that human instinct of seeking to dominate or annihilate others…akin to murder if you will…. although I am not an advocate of nuclear weapons but that is beyond the point…the reality is they exist….the point is, Government and society needs to deter it’s citizens from committing such extreme acts such as murder.. ..here is the problem with the death penalty….when someone commits murder and is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, he/she is left languishing in prison for decades before the death penalty is dished out …but I guarantee you if the death penalty was dished out a day or two after someone was indicted for murder beyond reasonable doubt…and I mean where there is irrefutable, undeniable, there is no doubt what’s so ever the accused was guilty…if the death penalty was executed a day or two after the judge or jury announced the guilty verdict and the convict was executed immediately, people would think twice before they commit murder…. therefore the death penalty must come with SWIFT JUSTICE…. that will rid society of those miscreants and the victims family will have recourse to swift justice ….but again I stress this SWIFT JUSTICE can only be dished out where there is undeniable proof of guilt….and it will give those criminals food for thought….now I am aware that this only deals with crimes where the evidence is undeniable but atleast we would have dealt with a major scourge in our society, one where boys tot guns killing other boys….that to me deserves SWIFT JUSTICE once the perpetrator is caught and found guilty after trial….if you don’t value another person’s life and you act in a way which deprives someone else of life, then you have forfeited your right to your own life… therefore… TRIAL…FOUND GUILTY WITH UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE…COURT AGREES…..SWIFT JUSTICE…. problem solved.

    In the case of murder by self defense…..the court would have to determine under what circumstances that self defense occurred…were you walking down the street and you were attacked, you made a move to protect yourself but in doing so you ended up killing your attacker, then the courts should consider that particular situation…and perhaps a lesser sentence is merited…. BUT if it’s gang bangers going about toting guns at each other and one of the gun toters died? then who ever is alive should expect SWIFT JUSTICE…once the court establishes the circumstances and comes to a verdict….just my opinion.

  5. Hang them all!! They would have given up their right to live and opted for heaven instead. Give them a one way ticket please!!

  6. Hang them alll… All dem wannabe gangsters, bad bpy, murderers, rapist, theives hang their blodclatt… Or place their ass in front of a firing squad for practise to teach officers to shoot better. Think about the families of those lives lost. Kill them all bunch a criminals wearing flip flop and coin bags…. Bunch a lucian PUSSIES.

  7. These people are playing a dangerous game here they must be hanged for such a crime against the state I find this is a fullish statement.

  8. GS states: “One good example is the situation in the United States, the only country in the Americas where people are executed annually.”

    You mean except for the other 20 or so? of the nearly 90 which have the death penalty in their statutes?

  9. Deterrence, Death Penalties & Executions

    Nobel Prize Laureate (Economics) Gary Becker:

    “the evidence of a variety of types — not simply the quantitative evidence — has been enough to convince me that capital punishment does deter and is worth using for the worst sorts of offenses.” (NY Times, 11/18/07)

    “(Becker) is the most important social scientist in the past 50 years (NY Times, 5/5/14)

    1) What we know

    The deterrent effect of severe sanctions and severe negative incentives has never been negated and cannot be. Execution is the most severe sanction and one of the most severe negative incentives.

    The evidence that some are deterred is overwhelming (1). The evidence that none are deterred is non existent (1).

    We have undisputed evidence that some have confirmed they were deterred from committing murders because of the threat of the death penalty/executions (1). This is known as individual deterrence. By fact and reason, individual deterrence cannot exist without general deterrence or, more precisely, there will be many more cases of individual deterrence that we do not know of.

    If, still, unsure of deterrence, there are these risks:

    Absent the death penalty/executions, we risk sacrificing more innocent lives. With the death penalty/executions, we “risk” saving more innocent lives (2).

    Pick your risk.

    As a part of deterrence theory, some criminal activity is deterred because the potential criminal is restrained, consciously or subconsciously, based upon a fear of being caught and sanctioned, if they commit the crime.

    Do positive and negative incentives affect behavior? Of course . . . with execution being the most severe negative incentive, the most severe sanction and the most feared outcome.

    We all know that criminals “case” potential targets for crimes. Criminals are aware of lighting, cameras, witnesses, police presence, prisons, sentences, biological evidence, etc. . . . risk vs reward. Every time they don’t commit a crime, in such a circumstance, it was because they were deterred.

    Is there anyone not aware of this?

    Police departments are, rarely, targeted for robbery. Obvious.

    Everyone knows that if we stopped all law enforcement and sanctions, that crime would escalate, dramatically. There would be no sanction deterrence to crime.

    Is that a mystery, to anyone?

  10. Is GSL unaware that the DPIC is, strictly, anti death penalty, and paid for the study, including the questions asked, for the survey?

    You left out that the study found that 92% of police chiefs supported the death penalty.

    An the reason that the death penalty was the lowest rated, in regard topublic safety, is two fold:

    1) DPIC made sure that all the other options would be higher and
    2) The death penalty is applied, by far, less than any other sanction, for the obvious reason that capital, death penalty murders are, by far the fewest crimes, in the US.

  11. Thank you Dudley for that summary – it covers all that I’ve been talking about – you kill/you hang – there should be no ifs’ buts or maybes’ about it;
    “The enemy comes to steal, to kill and to destroy” KJV. If only people would/could read. Amen.

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