Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019
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AG: Death penalty not going anywhere

Amid calls for the abolishment of capital punishment in The Bahamas, Attorney General Carl Bethel asserted that capital punishment is not going anywhere.

“The death penalty remains a part of Bahamian law, and as the nation’s chief law officer, responsible primarily for the enforcement of all Bahamian laws, I can say affirmatively that The Bahamas’ position on the death penalty has not changed and is not likely to change anytime soon,” he said.

In a recent interview with The Bahama Journal, Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM), a French non-governmental organization, urged the Bahamian government to abolish the death penalty.

Executive Director Raphael Chenuil-Hazen criticized The Bahamas’ continued non-support of a United Nations resolution for a moratorium on the death penalty.

He said that The Bahamas and the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean have not abolished capital punishment yet, due to a “fake solidarity” among the nations.

Chenuil-Hazan made the comments during an interview at the 7th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Brussels, Belgium.

Bethel said, “The United Nations and its various organs call for many things, many things that, either for reasons of policy or culture, The Bahamas has not acceded to.

“The United Nations only has the authority to mandate causes of action when you have conceded to some convention that gives them that authority.

“The Bahamas for reasons peculiar to The Bahamas has not signed onto any convention requiring us to eliminate the death penalty.”

In 2006, the Privy Council abolished the mandatory death sentence in The Bahamas.

The Privy Council said in 2011 that the punishment should be reserved only for “the worst of the worst” and the “rarest of the rare” cases.

The Bahamas has a de facto moratorium on the death penalty, because although it remains legal, there have been no executions since 2000.

Rachel Knowles

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish
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