National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, has asserted that his position on the death penalty is “neither here nor there.”
He told reporters here that he is for the law.
“I am for the law. The law says that if you kill – there are certain categories of murder; that you should face the hangman,” Francis, who also has responsibility for Home Affairs and Justice declared.
He expressed the view that although Saint Lucia has not carried out judicial executions in years, it does not mean that they should not be done.
“That’s what the law says,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner stated in an interview broadcast by Hot 7 News Friday night.
According to the Cornell Centre on the death penalty worldwide, Saint Lucia has not executed a prisoner since 1995.
The centre’s website says there is no one on death row in Saint Lucia, with the last death row inmate’s death sentence being commuted in 2013.
Earlier this year, the London-based international human rights organisation, Amnesty International, urged all regional countries to abolish the death penalty.
But with mounting concern over violent crime in Saint Lucia, there have been renewed calls from some members of the public for persons found guilty of murder to be executed.
Amnesty International said that as of the end of 2017, over 96 per cent of all those on death row in the English-speaking Caribbean were held in three countries alone, Barbados (13 per cent), Guyana (32 per cent) and Trinidad and Tobago (52 per cent).
The three countries retain the mandatory death penalty in their legislation, Amnesty noted.
Senator Hermangild Francis has said that with plans here for constitutional reform, the issue of the death penalty can be put before the people.
“I think Saint Lucians have to have a say as to whether they still want the death penalty or not,” he declared.