Time for a referendum on the death penalty

Dear Editor,

Bahamian criminals who fire shots randomly into a crowd with children are ignoble savages.

These callous criminals should receive the death penalty. Advocacy groups such as Rights Bahamas must stop unwittingly defending these murderers by arguing against the merits of capital punishment, as the absence of an effective deterrent is why the murder rate is so high.

A seven-year-old boy was gunned down in the Nassau Village community on Sunday.

This latest incident involving a minor occurred four months after the shooting death of 10 year-old Lorencia Simmons Walkes.

I have an 11-year-old daughter. I cannot imagine her life being snuffed out by a gunman. But this is where The Bahamas currently finds itself, where parents are having to bury their children because of the reckless, irresponsible behavior of a group of profligates.

The Free National Movement (FNM) administration has gone on record as stating that it supports capital punishment. The FNM must be commended for ignoring the calls by the French NGO group Together Against the Death Penalty to abolish the death penalty in 2019.

I find it telling that this group and Rights Bahamas are deafeningly silent after gruesome murders are committed. Only when government officials start talking about the death penalty in the media do these people find their tongues.

I see no sense in the Bahamian government being guided by the United Nations’ moratorium on the death penalty, as the state hasn’t executed anyone since 2000 when David Mitchell was hanged.

Whatever constitutional changes the Minnis administration was contemplating enacting, the powers that be simply need to start the process.

I suggest that the FNM government put the issue to the Bahamian people to decide via a referendum in order to settle this issue once and for all.

After all, it is rank-and-file Bahamians who are being senselessly gunned down by the miscreants in our midst.

The government should be, to use Abraham Lincoln’s words, the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

I am 100 percent confident that the Bahamian people will vote “yes” for the administering of the death penalty.

When that happens, the Bahamian government can simply point fingers at its subjects once the UN and other international advocacy groups start poking their noses in our domestic affairs.

Kevin Evans

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