Hall calls for life without parole for murder, rape
Following a series of murders and rapes in The Bahamas, Bishop Simeon Hall said recently that anyone convicted of such crimes should spend the remainder of their natural life behind bars.
“Only when the majority of our citizens, led by our elected parliamentarians, place more fear in the hearts of gang members and criminals will we see a sustained and continuous reduction in crime,” Hall said in a recent statement.
“We boast about the statistical reduction in certain crimes, particularly homicides, then only days later there are multiple slayings.
“The criminal mind is hardly impressed or frightened by statistics.
“In fact, some persons are so demonic and depraved that the recent announcement of relatively positive crime statistics might have motivated some with criminal intent.
“Both the ghastly act of rape and the nefarious intentional murder of a human being qualifies as the worst of the worst in my book – the United Kingdom’s Privy Council’s position notwithstanding.
“We are far too passive in this country for certain matters and we must not accept wanton acts of crime as our new normal.
“Anyone rightly convicted through the judicial system of rape and/or murder should be removed from civilized society for the rest of his or her natural life.
“I do believe that when people make mistakes, particularly when they are repentant, they deserve another chance to remake their lives.
“Unfortunately, I am also convinced that there are some who are impervious to the best that society offers, and they should be permanently removed from civilization.
“A life sentence without parole protects public safety while sparing the barbarity of killing our own. It sends the strongest message that violent acts will be severely punished.”
This month, The Bahamas recorded two double murders just hours apart.
On the morning of May 9, police said two men were shot and killed at White’s Addition off Kemp Road.
Roughly 11 hours prior, police were called to investigate a double shooting at Potter’s Cay Dock.
When officers arrived on that scene, they found two men unresponsive with gunshot wounds to the upper body.
They were pronounced dead at the scene.
This year, the country has recorded 31 murders, according to The Nassau Guardian’s records.
Just last week, police said two teenage girls were robbed, kidnapped, sexually assaulted and held for ransom for nearly two and a half hours.
Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson’s 2019 police plan calls for a more aggressive approach to tackling sexual offenses.
The more aggressive approach to tackling sexual offenses comes as police reported a rise in reported rapes in 2018.
Police recorded 55 incidents of rape last year, compared to 52 in 2017, an increase of six percent.