Bring back capital punishment

Dear Editor,

Activists from Citizens For Justice Bahamas (CFJB) are outraged at the level of murders and violent crime in The Bahamas and are calling for capital punishment to be reinstated in accordance with the constitution.

Bishop Walter Hanchell and members of CFJB are demanding that laws regarding capital punishment be enforced.

Convicted murderers callously and brutally take innocent lives without fear of the law or the consequences of their actions.

Innocent victims are dying while vigilante justice appears to be on the rise. Gang members know that the state has refused to do its job, so they take matters into their own hands with their own system of justice.

They are also aware that they can easily get bail, return to the streets, and if convicted, get a slap on wrist, compared to what they deserve.

It was recently disclosed in the annual police report on crime that murders have increased over the past year.

While we commend the police for the fine work they do in fighting crime, we must take the correct measures in reducing murder.

Presently, hundreds of persons charged before the courts with murder are on bail and walking our streets. Cases take far too long to be heard, followed by years of appeal after conviction.

Citizens For Justice Bahamas has observed with interest that both Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and Minister of National Security Marvin Dames are proponents of the death penalty.

The prime minister has declared in the past that he strongly supports capital punishment. He has said in the past that he has no issue hanging any person convicted of murder and moving on and that he is a strong advocate for capital punishment.

We commend the prime minister and the minister of national security for their stand, which is on the right side of the debate on capital punishment.

We in CFJB also support the death penalty and have been calling for the resumption of capital punishment in The Bahamas for many years.

We note that Dr. Minnis, when he served as leader of the opposition, stated that if he is elected prime minister, he would hold a referendum on capital punishment “as soon as possible”.

He has said in the House of Assembly that the necks of murderous scumbags in the country must be popped and promised to do everything in his power to start hanging these murderers.

Minister Dames said in an interview that the FNM government will use everything on the books, including capital punishment, to make The Bahamas safe for law-abiding citizens.

The last hanging in The Bahamas took place on January 6, 2000, 20 years ago, when David Mitchell was hanged for killing two German tourists.

All death sentences after the ruling were commuted because of the Privy Council’s philosophical objection to capital punishment.

Unless the government of The Bahamas passes strong legislation that would prevent the Privy Council from ruling against state murders, we will never see another convicted murderer receive their just punishment.

Ruthless thugs will continue to take innocent lives knowing that they will face no real consequences.

It is our view that the biblical basis for capital punishment must be followed. It is our creator who established moral laws to govern us. The Bible is clear on the death penalty and unless and until we follow the laws of God, the senseless murders will continue.

It is time to stop the carnage.

We must do what is necessary as a people to address the issue of murder, violent crime and illegal guns.

Again, we appeal to our lawmakers to amend our laws to ensure that there be no impediments at the Privy Council when ruling on murder cases.

We also call on the government of The Bahamas to greatly increase the penalties for armed robberies and possession of illegal firearms and for all violent crimes.

Bishop Walter S. Hanchell, MM, JP

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