The Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM), which has in the past argued against capital punishment, has said that the time has come when the party has to rethink its position.
“It is therefore in our national interest and the preservation of our society and the way of life which we once cherished, that we move quickly to apply the death penalty as a deterrent for those who wish to run afoul of the law,” LPM leader, Therold Prudent said.
Prudent told St Lucia Times that this is not meant to accommodate or appease those who have been or are currently in power and have not done enough to manage the crime situation on the island.
“In fact, while there are many scientific studies which point to the ineffective application of capital punishment as a deterrent to crime in metropolitan nations, we have no empirical data or evidence that the same is true in small and impoverished nations such as our own,” Prudent explained.
He stated that given the heightened concern that this country may be approaching a juncture where the taking of a human life is of no significance to criminals, there is no choice but to embrace the application of the death penalty in the delivery of justice.
The LPM leader asserted that while the application of capital punishment may be averse to powerful nations around the world capable of spending millions of dollars in the rehabilitation of murderers, this cannot be the standard by which Saint Lucia is forced to live as an impoverished nation.
“We have many challenges of which unemployment and crime are at the top of the list, and our government has only applied superficial measures in tackling these two problems,” Prudent observed.
“They have allowed their need for reelection and for wanting to remain in the political limelight long after their political worth has depreciated, to be of more significance than dealing with the issues of unemployment and crime in a comprehensive manner,” he told St Lucia Times.
“They pander to criminal elements in our nation , they embolden them and with that comes a massive weakening of the national security apparatus and the ability of governments to provide protection for law abiding citizens,” the LPM leader asserted.
He stressed that the brutal murder of Saint Lucian citizens, visitors and foreigners here is inexcusable.
“In many impoverished nations around the world where there is starvation and pestilence and the rate of unemployment is worse than ours, most citizens understand that resorting to violent crime where human life is devalued, will be met with swift justice,” Prudent noted.
The LPM leader reiterated his party’s ‘seven-year old plea’ and suggestion to the powers that be to convene a National Consultation on crime that would draw people together in a ‘meaningful way’ in the fight against crime.