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GCL Opposes Jamaica Proposal For ‘Automatic’ Death Penalty For Murder


The Greater Caribbean for Life (GCL) Organisation that has been uniting entities and individuals against capital punishment in our region since 2013, affirms its opposition to a proposal made by Jamaican Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, to amend the Offences Against the Person Act to establish a mandatory death sentence for capital murder. His plan also proposes a penalty of life imprisonment for non-capital murder.

We need to remember that the Privy Council has decided in many cases the unconstitutionality of the mandatory death penalty, referred to as the automatic death penalty in Holness’ proposition.

In Lambert Watson v The Queen, delivered in 2004, the Privy Council declared unconstitutional another amendment to Jamaica’s Offences Against the Person Act. In 2011 the Jamaican Government changed its Constitution and the general savings law clause was repealed. 

Instead of looking for inappropriate solutions for violence that will be challenged in courts, GCL invites the Jamaican government to initiate a comprehensive dialogue to consider the root causes of crime and work to develop effective, short/long-term, non-lethal solutions that will be more conducive to building safe, just, and peaceful societies in our region.

If capital punishment is a gross anachronism by itself, the mandatory death penalty proposed by Jamaica is an uncivilized legal rule that has no place in the 21st century. Times have changed. Human rights values have set higher standards today.

Let’s take, for example, the United States, the only country that sentences and executes yearly in our hemisphere, where the mandatory death penalty was declared unconstitutional in 1976.

 The US Supreme Court decided 46 years ago in Woodson v. North Carolina that “It is now well established that the Eighth Amendment draws much of its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.

As the above discussion makes clear, one of the most significant developments in our society’s treatment of capital punishment has been the rejection of the common law practice of inexorably imposing a death sentence upon every person convicted of a specified offense (cites omitted)”.

 Let’s stop crime, not lives!

SOURCE: Greater Caribbean for Life

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  1. I am against the death penalty and I am against the GCL provocative views bringing convenient justification to support it’s fight. Never bring the US into modern human rights behavior they are worst off than any other countries. Take equally into consideration that the US can print their own money and also paid handsomely to those who are wrongfully incarcerated. Name me one Caribbean countries who ever done such? The US have the largest population in the prison system and largest in juvenile. They have execute more juvenile in the legal system than any other countries. So be mindful when you are barking and what is your personal agenda

  2. Until the criminals get to the homes of these people, they will peddle this BS. Capital punishment, ie. the death penalty, should always be on the table because these criminals are not afraid to spend 15, 25, 30, 40 years in prison and then get out only to commit the same crimes.

  3. In this conversation, does anyone care about the victims or their families? I have personally seen how a family was destroyed…decimated when the breadwinner was murdered.

  4. @Poule Foo … the murderer should be MADE to pay the family of the person they murdered – then be executed!!

  5. Don’t listen to any of the British B.S. they passed their ‘no hanging policy’ after they hanged the wrong man, Evanse the Welsh man, and oh and behold we got to stop this. Google ‘Ludovic Kennedy’s ‘ book “I0 Rillington Place”. It’s about the place where Christie the Landlord committed many Rapes and murders of wives, when their husbands were out at work….after reading the book, I did visit that Rillington Place, and got goose bumps after looking at No 10. after it was discovered that they made that damn mistake, the British Privy hurriedly passed that Law saying Holt; then all the Colonies ‘as usual’ bowed down to their Master and stopped hanging. There is no fun in doing the very same that the criminals do, but let’s face it, St. Lucia for the past few years have fallen into a category never before imagined, for a small Island with less than two thousand people could have 3 and 4 or more thousands of people, mostly men dead in one year. In the past month we have had four and one or two missing. At that rate there must be a stop; and I think the most effective means must be to amend the offences against the person Act to establish a mandatory death sentence for Capital Murder. No one I hope is feeling good about a hanging but for the future of St. Lucia, its business potential the Tourism business and any other, something must be done. May the Lord God Bless St. Lucia

  6. Many of these people acting as overseers for overseas masters are useful idiots. They are blind to their local conditions. They make the flaw that anything derived from advanced industrialized countries is better. They believe that local mores, culture and values are far inferior to Europe or America.

    Europe and America have shown over and over again that they will do ANYTHING for the security of their citizens. There are no moral boundaries to cross. Some examples in our lifetimes: area bombing and carpet bombing that deliberately set out to kill civilians. Those killed and displaced would put strain on the enemy’s infrastructure. Black sites, violent torture, Guantanamo (where most of the captives were released secretly). Unprovoked wars. The list goes on.

    Our local financial condition does not permit the state to house, feed and provide care for hundreds of convicted murderers. People who chose to destroy other humans and leave pain in their wake. There are better things to do with that money. There are needier things all around us. These people, by their actions, have forfeited a place in society.

  7. I want all of your’ll commenting above to be executioners even if it was your family members that did the crime. Certain murders like a serial killer could get a death penalty however nobody including any one of you hands are clean enough to execute anybody less on gang violence. That is fighting fire with fire and that will lead to the family members of the killer to seek revenge, getting society even worse.
    Some of you need to stop using Jesus name in vain like you will shout out Halleluhah while you tie the person in a noose. I would leave this as that with, He who is without sin cast the first stone.

  8. @Bob depending on how it happened, if she knew she was getting herself in trouble or the place she was going.
    All the capital punishment talk what if they bring back the death penalty for commiting adultery would any of you say yes to that?


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