I’m an American legislation professor who has had the good alternative in my earlier profession to have lived and labored within the Caribbean. I’ve additionally been in opposition to using the dying penalty in the USA and hope that sometime the dying penalty will probably be abolished in the USA because it has been in a lot of the world. Whereas residing and dealing within the Caribbean I got here to be taught that most of the islands nonetheless impose the dying penalty for homicide. The executions are accomplished by hanging. This can be a barbaric observe which I want to see ended.
Since becoming a member of the authorized academy I’ve had the chance to watch authorized traits with respect to the dying penalty within the English-Talking Caribbean [hereinafter ESC]. The international locations that comprise the ESC are: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Dominica, Bahamas, and Suriname. Most People don’t understand a dying penalty debate has raged within the ESC for over twenty years as as to whether the dying penalty ought to be abolished or retained. Nor do most Americas understand that convicted murderers are hanged. The dying penalty within the ESC is a vestige of English colonial rule. Sarcastically, England abolished the dying penalty in 1991.
This text will not be meant to be a grim report on the specifics of hangings within the English Talking Caribbean, however as an alternative a report that ought to give us hope that, maybe, sometime the dying penalty will probably be abolished within the ESC; and I hope additionally sometime abolished in the USA. In essence, we are actually seeing a lower in hangings within the ESC – this I contemplate a very good pattern. Though many journey to the ESC for enjoyable, solar and rum, most of the islands for the reason that late 1990’s have suffered will increase in crime charges and charges of homicide. Many ESC residents imagine that the dying penalty is a deterrent to rampant crime and urge their governments to withstand abolition of the dying penalty. Sadly, research don’t bear out that the dying penalty is a deterrent to crime or homicide.
Right here is my report. I hope it offers meals for thought. Amnesty Worldwide and different human rights teams report that over half the international locations on the planet have now abolished the dying penalty in legislation or observe. Particularly, Amnesty Worldwide reported in April 1998, 63 international locations and territories had abolished the dying penalty for all crimes, whereas 91 different international locations, quite a lot of that are within the ESC, retain and use the dying penalty. Various human rights teams have decried what they imagine to be a resurgence of using the dying penalty in a few of these ESC nations.
On October 15, 1998, at eight am, Trevor Fisher, a black Bahamian citizen, age 28, was hanged contained in the partitions of Fox Hill Jail in Nassau, Bahamas. One hour later Richard Woods, additionally black, age 51, adopted Fisher to the gallows. Woods was additionally hanged. Each had been convicted of homicide. Previous to the Fisher and Woods hangings solely two folks, Thomas Reckley and Dwayne McKinney, each hanged in 1996, had been executed within the Bahamas since 1984. An area Bahamian newspaper reported that the final double hanging within the Bahamas was on September 6, 1983, when Lavan Newbold and Colin Evans had been executed. Since 1942 there have been 5 double hangings and two triple hangings within the Bahamas. The final triple hanging was January 19, 1980, when Charles Dickenson, Vernal Storr and Winsette Hart had been executed.
In June of 1999, over a 3 day interval Trinidad hanged convicted drug lord and assassin, Dole Chadee, and eight of his co-defendants in a homicide conspiracy case. These had been the primary executions in Trinidad carried out since 1994, and solely the second since 1979. In July 1999, Trinidad carried out the execution of Anthony Briggs, bringing the full to 10 executions for the yr. All these executed had been males. Nonetheless, an April 1999 report by Amnesty Worldwide revealed that Trinidad was the one ESC nation with ladies on dying row. There have been seventy-six males and 5 ladies on dying row in Trinidad. In that very same report it was additional revealed that there have been seven males on dying row in Antigua, twenty-four males on dying row within the Bahamas, two males in Barbados, one man in Dominica, twenty-three males in Guyana, eight males in Grenada, forty-three males on dying row in Jamaica, three on St. Kitts and Nevis, 9 males in St. Lucia, and three males on dying row in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. After which, all was quiet with respect to hangings within the ESC till 2008.
On December 19, 2008, because the small island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis ready to have a good time Christmas, bells rang out from the jail within the coronary heart of the capital, Basseterre. Charles Laplace had been hanged that morning for killing his spouse 5 years earlier. This was the primary execution within the ESC for eight years. The day earlier than, the United Nations Normal Meeting had voted by 106 nations to 46, for a worldwide moratorium on the dying penalty. In opposition to the pattern of world opinion, all 12 international locations of the ESC retain the dying penalty by statutes. These international locations make up a considerable chunk of the execution foyer. But, hangings have been uncommon of late as a result of a lot of the twelve ESC nations nonetheless retain the Privy Council in London, the Judicial wing of the Home of Lords, as their courtroom of ultimate attraction. The Privy Council dominated in 1993 that the hole between sentence and the execution can’t be longer than 5 years and successive appeals normally take longer.
So we’re seeing fewer hangings within the ESC, allow us to hope that this barbaric observe will quickly finish altogether with an absolute abolition of the dying penalty within the ESC.