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Caribbean Group Renews Call For Abolition Of Death Penalty

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On Human Rights Day, Saturday 10 December, 2022, the Greater Caribbean for Life (GCL) urges Caribbean leaders and citizens in our region, to reflect on the fact that the theme this year: Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All, is in keeping with GCL’s goal of achieving regional/global abolition of the death penalty.
The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. The use of the death penalty is not consistent with promoting the dignity of offenders.
GCL believes that society has a right to protect itself from persons who commit heinous crimes and offenders must be held accountable.
However, we believe that non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect society from offenders.
To date, 170 States have abolished or introduced a moratorium on the death penalty either in law or in practice. There are 55 retentionist countries in the world. According to Amnesty International, in 2021 most known executions took place in China, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
13 countries in the Greater Caribbean are retentionist: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Grenada is considered abolitionist in practice.
Leela Ramdeen, Chair of GCL, states: “If we wish to promote Justice for All, then we must recognise that the death penalty violates the right to life and the right to live free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The death penalty tramples upon the dignity of the human person.  If my neighbour’s dignity is trampled upon, mine becomes tarnished, since we are all inter-connected. Let us not sacrifice the values we seek to protect”.
Globally, the trend is moving away from the death penalty. At the 8th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, held in Berlin, Germany in November 2022, it was recognised that the more and more African countries are leading the global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty.
It is time that we in the Greater Caribbean get on the right side of history as it relates to the death penalty; especially since most countries in the Greater Caribbean have some form of de facto moratorium.
The last hanging in our region took place on December 19, 2008, when Charles la Place was hanged in St Kitts and Nevis.
The number of death sentences and countries imposing such sentences in the Caribbean are at an historical low, with two sentences in Trinidad and Tobago and one sentence in Guyana in 2021. During this year, only Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have imposed death sentences.
GCL stands in solidarity with the victims of crime and their families and urges countries in our region to find more effective ways to support them.
GCL supports an ethic of respect for ALL life. This is why GCL’s motto reflects this: “Stop crime, not lives!” We believe in punishing crimes, but saving lives, ALL lives.
Our vision of building safe, just, and peaceful communities must not lead us to lose our humanity by hanging on to colonial laws that lead us to treat persons in inhuman and degrading ways.
“The death penalty has plagued our statute books for too long. It is time that it be struck from the record.  Societies continue to champion democracy, human rights and freedoms, yet cling to colonial penalties. As young people, we demand the needed change from our politicians. We call on them to revise how persons are punished for crimes and demand a more modern, holistic and practical approach – with a shift away from retribution to restoration/transformation,” states Khaleem Ali, a member of GCL’s Executive Committee.
On Human Rights Day 2022, GCL calls for a new national dialogue in our region about how we deal with crime and violence; how we restore respect for law and life; and how we protect and rebuild communities.
In this dialogue, we remind everyone of the wisdom contained in the words of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who rightly said: “There is no justice in killing in the name of justice, and no godliness in exacting vengeance.”
SOURCE: Greater Caribbean for Life. Headline photo courtesy Markus Spiske (Unsplash.com)
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Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Who is advocating for the abolition of mental and emotional abuse in the department of nursing at SALCC? Who is calling for an end to gender base violence(mental and emotional) against women when a woman is the perpetrator? Who is calling for an end to bullying by administration against student nurses at SALCC?

  2. Well it seems YOU are @student nurse on EVERY commenting on every article that you read! Instead of spending all your time online “responding” to irrelevant (to your issues) news articles, why don’t you write letters to the appropriate Ministers and Politicians, and/or get a petition going for your fellow nursing students/nurses/other medical professionals who share your views – it might be more effective. BTW how do you get time for your ACTUAL studies when you are stuck on SLTO every minute? Choops! Maybe the issue lies with you…

  3. Your non-lethal means are not sufficient to defend and protect our society; we are a small State with several hundreds of murderers locked up waiting for trial, being fed, getting Meds, bathed, laundered, beds provided and cleaned. Send some of these guys to St. Lucia to see for themselves what people have to put up with. These lunatics have killed white folks who cared to make St Lucia their Home, if something is not done, the Island will become good only for Ghost – unhabitable, good only for these Elected ones with fat Purses. Lord do put a hand. Amen.

  4. The Fox if you did a crime lets murder, I hope you beg the judge to give you the death penalty with a added looloo beth prompto. Amen

  5. The Fox if you did a crime lets say murder, I hope you beg the judge to give you the death penalty with a added looloo beth prompto. Amen

  6. LOL THIS PAGE SAVES CREDENTIALS OF THE MOST RECENT CONTRIBUTORS. ST LUCIA TIMES, FIX IT PLEASE. FOR EXAMPLE, I CAN SEE THE EMAIL ADDRESS OF THE LAST CONTRIBUTOR, COMMENTING UNDER A PSEUDONYM IF I PROCEED TO COMMENT.

    I AM CURRENTLY COMMENTING AS 105smph AND CAN SEE THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS, BUT I AM SOMEONE ELSE.

    FIX IT PLEASE

  7. If it was there child that was raped and murderd do you think that the do gooders would change their mind?

  8. To the editor. Your very plush quote from Desmond Tutu that states ‘ there is no justice in killing in the name of justice and no godliness in exacting vengeance ‘ is just that…A QUOTE….even god himself said vengeance is mine….but I guess the more religious among us will say god is god he can do what he wants….yea, you fool me there…NOT!!!…..And while it is easy to say It is time to rid our law books of the death penalty, there are miscreants out there who are hell bent on hurting others no matter how many social initiatives the government or society put in place to raise better citizens. Personally there should be death for a certain crime that is committed and that is murder….once proven guilty, your frog will croak ….and quick too… society don’t need these miscreants. The State needs a deterrent to deter those miscreants who don’t give two hoots about human rights or the right of others to live…and therefore if the laws deems you guilty of a crime that merits the death penalty, then so it should be…peace loving citizens, people who work hard to raise their families, innocent individuals, people who just want to get on with their lives will never commit crimes that merit the death penalty but these miscreants, knowing their very illicit trade is one where you either kill or be killed is the order of the day…they don’t deserve to be among peace loving citizens….I am all for individual freedoms assured by the law, but the law should also guarantee that guilty miscreants have a penalty to pay for the inhumane acts of taking another life….that’s where I draw the line…. because here is the reality….a career criminal will do all his mischief and he/she knowing that there is no death penalty will most likely go on to kill another human being knowing that he/she will get life in prison and possible get out in 10-15 year’s time for so called good behaviour…no one is born being a criminal or a murderer….these are learned through a long process of mischief….and these culprits know what they are doing ain’t right….YOU COMMIT MURDER YESTERDAY, YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY BY LAW TODAY, YOUR FROG CROAKS TOMORROW NIGHT…QUICK AND SIMPLE….I bet you if the death penalty was served within a few days or within one week when the judge gives the sentence, there would be no murders happening because the miscreants would know that within a short period he/she will be no more… problem is, these miscreants are kept on death row for 20, 30, 40 years….by which time they might most likely be too old….and likely released on medical grounds…I cherish life, criminals don’t and therefore the State needs a deterrent…I say keep the death penalty for those who absolutely deserve it…. FOR CRIMINALS FOUND GUILTY BY THE LAW ….OF MURDER.

  9. Tell the Caribbean CRIMINAL CONDONEERS and others, including Mary Francis our hearts are painful for the loss of our loved ones and they have not opened their jaw and said one word. We do not want to hear from them because we want to hang, capital punishment as of now.

  10. Desmond Tutu should know that the Bible says ‘A life for a life’. The people were specifically instructed to do this to rid their societies of evil before it proliferated, like what we are seeing today. All found in the Book of Leviticus. The loving God did make provision for accidental murders though. Those persons were sent to cities of refuge. But all intentional murderers had to be put to death.

  11. Well said if you kill your life shall be required of you as well
    An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth
    It’s in Leviticus man think they know better & more loving than God Almighty. God put it there to protect society from this plague of evil.

  12. C-WIZ don’t believe in God so, remember the Old Testament which everyone here is quoting gave the death penalty for Murder even for commiting Adultery by stoning.
    The New Testament which Jesus wrote offers forgiveness of sin but condemns Murder and Adultery very much. I say the capital punishment can be used on certain murderers and depending on who they kill. Alot of the boys in jail are there for killing other gang members.
    At least Jesus didn’t keep the death penalty for Adultery your’ll are free on that one lol.

  13. @Editor….

    You damn right I don’t believe in god…this man made fantasy having people living in fear of going to hell and if you want to go to heaven bend your knees, on all fours with your @## pointing temptingly…..you should ask your god where was he when your ancestors were enslaved for 400 years being raped, beaten, brutalized, hanged, burned, drowned, slapped, sodomized, broken, worked billions of collective hours without pay or compensation….now the Caribbean islands are talking about reparations…imprisoned, hacked and chopped, kicked and all manner of inconceivable atrocities done to them and he your powerless, none existent god sat is @## on his golden throne and did nothing..FOR 400 YEARS ..WHY? ….BECAUSE IT’S SIMPLY THAT…THE IDIOT DOES NOT EXIST HENCE WHY HE IS POWERLESS… …Even Paul in Ephesians said…slaves obey your masters.. so even your god seems to sanction slavery and by extension your ancestors enslavement……I can take you to school on that god nonsense but I don’t have the time….you can continue to live in your fairy tale…..

  14. Texas that have it most people dying.
    It won’t stop crime ,it will just get things worse for us.
    Jobs
    Lend people land to plant food
    All kind of food.
    Open a fishing industry with boats to work with.
    Food is the most important thing to people right now.

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