SUPPORT FOR THE DEATH PENALTY

Dr. Roodal Moonilal

Dr. Roodal Moonilal

Crime seems to be a hot topic of debate in our Nation for several years now. Though in theory we are a secular State many of the reasons and justifications advanced by proponents for and against the  ” Death Penalty ” seem to be religious/ spiritual based, grounded and centered. Many persons seem to think that it is alright for the State to come down on criminals and make our society safe. Bur what hypocrisy. Many of the arguments promoted seem to thing that  ” gang ” warfare and related crime should feel the full brunt of the law. None of the arguments suggest that misuse of the trust of the electorate by unscrupulous politicians and fraud and embezzlement and misappropriation of State funds should be made a Capital Offence.

The history of Caribbean geopolities is filled with State officials utilising State power and Authority to oppress the poor and impoverished. From Emancipation to Independence the citizens of this country have suffered at the hands of elected officials . Politicians have treated the coffers of the citizens money as though it was their personal property. They have been encouraged by International forces and agencies that which to keep our geopolities in subjugation. Without the power of recall , when these politicians began to misuse our monies we are adviced that we can only make change through a democratic process. The same advisers now support populations to overthrow governments in North Africa and where ever there imperial policies are opposed by governments and peoples in territories that they are desirous of exploiting.

From the seat of this author when the government maakes law that robbery of the people through wasting of State resources in projects startedand abandoned at the cost of billions of dollars to tax payers become punishable by Capital Punishment , then the State will have my full and unreserved support.

There have been so many papers – white and blue on who the major players in this country are with regards to drug trade and yet no results by our police ,security and preventative agencies .

Recently our Prime Minister made announcements of spying on innocent citizens by an illegal agency. Today no one has been charged and prosecuted.

A dent, must be made on crime and criminals must feel the FULL BRUNT OF THE LAW. The LAW must however not target solely working class persons  and persons of certain sectors of our National community.

May the watch words of the Peoples’ Partnership : ” Serve the People  ” become manifest and may the People triumph over all crime and lawlessness.

7 responses to “SUPPORT FOR THE DEATH PENALTY

  1. FACTS ON THE DEATH PENALTY
    In the United States, Singapore, and China

    There are many who believe that capital punishment (or the death penalty) is a deterrent, or has a strong negative correlation to criminal acts involving violence, including committing murder. We all agree that the murder-rate in Trinidad & Tobago has gotten way out of control, and, that immediate solutions are necessary. With the recent “Daniel killing”, we have seen the emotional reactions of the political leaders, including tears from Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The following comes from reports of a local news article, describing the “emotions” of another Trinidad & Tobago government official:

    “…California and Alabama in the United States, plus Singapore and China, had proven that the death penalty works as a deterrent to crime. He (Suruj) hailed the death penalty for a fall in the murder-rate from 9.5 to 5.8 per 100,000 people in California over 12 years, and from 10.4 to 5.4 per 100,000 persons in Alabama over eight years…(now is time to) drive the dagger of fear into the hearts of criminals.” Based on Newsday report of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Suruj Rambachan’s plea to restart hangings in Trinidad & Tobago.
    (Source: http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,136302.html )

    If there is ONE thing that life has taught me, it is that emotional decisions are often the worst; the most destructive and counter-productive ones (to make). If the minister’s emotions are genuine, then he needs to take a look at the empirical evidence, and the facts, as they relate to crime and punishment in the (US) states, and the two countries, to which he drew reference.

    Let’s start with the United States. Click on the following link (or refer to photos 2 – 5), for an easy-to-read and current fact sheet on capital punishment in the United States (please note the “race” of the executed and that of the victims). Also note that the region -the South- with the highest number of executions, is also the region with the highest murder rate.:

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/FactSheet.pdf

    Secondly, on Singapore: Singapore enforces the death penalty by hanging and has, according to Amnesty International, one of the world’s highest execution rates relative to its population. The government has contested Amnesty’s assertion that this constitutes a violation of human rights. Caning, applied in addition to imprisonment, is a routine punishment for numerous offences. Internment without trial has been used to deal with espionage, terrorism, organized crime, and narcotics. Citizens’ privacy rights occasionally have been infringed, and the government has restricted freedom of speech and freedom of the press and has limited other civil and political rights. Censorship of sexual, political and racially or religiously sensitive content is extensive. Singapore does not offer a civilian service alternative to two-year military service, which is compulsory for all males. Four conscientious objectors, all members of the banned religious group Jehovah’s Witnesses, were imprisoned in 2004. In Singapore the death penalty is mandatory for first-degree murder and for the possession of more than 15g of heroin in its pure form (dia-morphine), which is deemed to be evidence of trafficking. Amnesty International, which opposes all capital punishment on principle, notes that some 400 criminals were hanged between 1991 and 2003, for a population of 5 million.
    There is mandatory caning of at least three strokes, combined with a minimum of three months’ imprisonment, for foreign workers who overstay by more than 3 months. The government argues that this is necessary to deter would-be immigration offenders, as Singapore remains an attractive destination for illegal immigrants; experience prior to 1989 had shown that imprisonment was not alone a sufficient deterrent. It feels that long-term ” overstayers ” who are not able to work legitimately pose social problems and may turn to crime. Corporal punishment may also be ordered for various sexual offences, rioting, the possession of weapons, violence of all kinds, drug abuse, and vandalism of public property. Male members of the armed forces are liable to a less severe form of caning for breaches of military discipline.
    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Singapore )

    Thirdly, let’s look at China: Controversial human rights issues in China include policies such as capital punishment, the one-child policy, the social status of Tibetans, and lack of protections regarding freedom of press and religion. One of the foremost areas of concern is a lack of legal rights, for want of an independent judiciary, rule of law, and due process. Another prominent area of concern is lack of labor rights, which is related to the hukou system, the absence of independent unions, and discrimination against rural workers and ethnic minorities. Yet another area of concern is the lack of religious freedom, highlighted by state clashes with Christian, Tibetan Buddhist, and Falun Gong groups…Although the 1982 constitution guarantees freedom of speech, the Chinese government often uses the subversion of state power and the protection of state secret clause to imprison those who are critical of the government. The government is also heavily involved in censoring news through the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China, even though no state law explicitly gives it such authority. Foreign internet search engines including Microsoft Bing!, Yahoo!, Google Search China have come under criticism for aiding in these practices, including banning the word “democracy” from its chat rooms in China. Yahoo! in particular, stated that it will not protect the privacy and confidentiality of its Chinese customers from the authorities.
    The government tries to maintain tight control over all religions, so the only legal Christian groups (Three-Self Patriotic Movement and Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association) are those under the Communist Party . It has been claimed by many that the teachings in the state-approved Churches are at least monitored and sometimes modified by the Party.
    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China )

    Compared to other countries, death sentences are carried out quickly in China…Capital punishment in China can be politically or socially influenced. In 2003, a local court sentenced the leader of a triad organization to a death sentence with two years of probation. However, the public opinion was that the sentence was too light. Under public pressure, the supreme court of China took the case and retried the leader, resulting in a death sentence which was carried out immediately.
    Capital punishment is applied flexibly to a wide range of crimes, some of which are punishable by death in no other judicial system in the world. Economic crimes such as tax fraud have appeared routinely among the dockets of those receiving the death sentence, as have relatively small-scale drug offences Corruption, property crimes such as theft, and smuggling gold, silver or other precious metals are also amongst the 68 crimes that are eligible for the death penalty in China.
    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China )

    So, based on the facts, neither California, Alabama, Singapore, nor China, should even be remotely considered as examples of criminal justice success stories, and they make this minister and Prime Minister appear even more suspect, as to their attitudes and opinions in relation to human rights, equal and fair justice, and the due process. Finally, in closing, I could never understand how a person can claim to be “Christian” and (also) be a proponent of the death penalty. I understand that under the Mosaic laws, there were arrangements for “eye for eye” and “tooth for tooth”, but I thought that Jesus taught his followers to “turn the other side of the cheek…” Also, being the fabled innocent, crucified victim of Rome’s death penalty (himself), do you think that he would be in favor of such drastic (and, in my opinion, barbaric) methods of “punishment”? I don’t think that he would have. And I think that it is hypocritical to favor a return to hanging, and still consider oneself (to be) a “Christian”.

    • yorubasacredsciencecentre

      Alaafia! E kabo George! Thank you for your visit and your excellently presented position on Capital punishment and Death Penalty.
      I agree that decisions should be made in a stress free environment . One should not be coerced by political expediency, or any other local or international consideration that does not put first the considerations of the constituents of this geopolity, but are concerned with cornering some international ” drug dealer ” that is messing with the politics of someone else’s territory.
      I pray that your presentation , particular as you reference the other issues involved would engage the contributions of other persons / or organizations that are courageous enough to engage these issues in the public arena.
      May you find this site encouraging, enlightening and may you be encouraged to share your candid opinions on this site.
      Oloye Orawale Oranfe

  2. I am being very pragmatic. While I am tempted to thrown my support behind the implementation of the death penalty I would ask the questions . Do we manufacture guns in T & T ? Where are the guns coming from ? When are the big financiers going to be held accountable ? We must remember that the crime situation has been deteriorating consistently over the past 15 years , which means that previous political administrations have failed to act.
    My position is go after the big time criminals involved in the drug trade and we will see a substantial decline in crime .
    But ,the question is ,who has the stones to do the job?
    Let us STOP LOOKING TO THE OUTSIDE FOR SOLUTIONS when we know exactly what to do . Like the blogger before me ,T & T is NOT the US , and will NEVER be , after over 40 years of Independence we should be able to solve our own problems.

    • yorubasacredsciencecentre

      Alaafia! E kabo ! May you find comfort as you enter. May our Ancestors rejoice. I am pleased that you can take this time to share with us your thoughts on this matter.
      Africans are still the targets of genocide globally. We are not always attacked by bombs and guns, but through the use of food and medication as weapons of offence and war. The Parliamentary Systems of ” governance and government ” that we have maintained has stifled the opportunity for genuine democracy and people’s power. Many Africans have attempted in varying ways to enlighten our population on the need for Peoples’ Power ,but as yet have not been successful. I pray that via these less ” violent ” means, that engages in a democratic manner the opinions of persons that we may arrive at the conviction that the current system is intended to perpetuate and maintain dependency of Caribbean people on foreign ideas, ideals , mores and markets, goods and services ,some of which we can produce ourselves. Once again thanks for this visit.
      Oloye Orawale Oranfe

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