Pay with your lives

MP urges pub­lic to pres­sure MPs to re­sume cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Ro­mario Scott Gleaner Writer ro­mario.scott@glean­

IN THE face of a 19 per cent spike in mur­ders since the start of the year, there is a strong sug­ges­tion com­ing from an op­po­si­tion law­maker that the con­demned prac­tice of hang­ing should re­sume to face down the crime mon­ster in Ja­maica.

Ian Hayles, mem­ber of par­lia­ment (MP) for Western Hanover, seem­ingly frus­trated by the blood­let­ting in the par­ish, con­tends that talk­ing has not helped in the fight against crime.

He is urg­ing 100,000 Ja­maicans to pres­sure their MPs into ad­vo­cat­ing for the re­sump­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. “We need to bring back hang­ing. I don’t know if the other 62 mem­bers of par­lia­ment [agree] – I know some agree, but I would say to the peo­ple of this coun­try ‘whether it is by way of ref­er­en­dum or oth­er­wise, you need to call your MPs,” Hayles said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

Hayles, who la­belled the crim­i­nals “an­i­mals”, said there comes a time when the coun­try has to say ‘enough is enough’.

But hu­man-rights ad­vo­cate and chair­per­son for Ja­maicans For Jus­tice, Ho­race Levy, re­act­ing to Hayles’ tough stance, ar­gues that hang­ing is not the so­lu­tion to crime.

“Un­for­tu­nately, hang­ing does not de­ter crim­i­nals in Ja­maica and it hasn’t done so world­wide ei­ther. It adds one more kind of vi­o­lence to the scene, and vi­o­lence sim­ply does not cure vi­o­lence,” Levy ar­gued.

The hu­man-rights ad­vo­cate told The Gleaner yes­ter­day that it should be suf­fi­cient for the crim­i­nals to be placed be­hind bars. How­ever, he said there is need for im­prove­ment in the jus­tice sys­tem and so­cial in­ter­ven­tion strate­gies.

“We would re­sist any at­tempt to re­sume cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment,” the JFJ boss added.

Hayles, how­ever, in­sisted that crim­i­nals should pay with their lives for the heartache and pain they have caused fam­i­lies.

In 2008, Par­lia­ment voted over­whelm­ingly in a con­science vote in sup­port of the re­ten­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment.

Ja­maica last car­ried out the death sen­tence in 1988 on ex­e­cu­tion war­rant signed by then At­tor­ney Gen­eral Oswald Hard­ing.


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