Time to resume capital punishment 

Dear Editor, 

New Providence has experienced a rise in murders, including the killings of a number of women and children in recent years.

The lives of women are being snatched away in The Bahamas along with other innocent victims.

Vigilante justice is growing in our streets. Murders seem to have reached unprecedented levels in recent months and something must be done to end the carnage.

The Bible gives clear instructions in both the Old and New Testament on how to deal with murderers and reduce violence.

In recent months, a lot of lies have been told with regards to the biblical position on how to deal with convicted murderers. Many of these are strictly opinions based on political correctness and the culture of European jurisdictions.

Members of 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 and honest biblical interpretation.

I am demanding that laws regarding capital punishment be enforced or be removed from our law books. Enforcement is preferred and very necessary.

The recent spate of murders in the nation has caused serious concerns.

While we commend Commissioner Paul Rolle and his fine officers for great policing, we must take the correct measures in order to reduce murders.

As a result of the negative social effects of COVID-19, there appears to be an increase in domestic violence and violent crimes.

Presently, many people 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 former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and former Minister of National Security Marvin Dames are proponents of the death penalty.

We commend them for their stand, which is on the right side of the debate on capital punishment. After almost five years of governance, absolutely nothing was done, however. It was all talk to get votes.

Former Prime Minister Perry Christie also promised to deal with enforcing capital punishment but never did.

Citizens for Justice Bahamas also supports the death penalty and has been calling for the resumption of capital punishment in The Bahamas for many years.

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

Absolutely nothing was done in this regard.

The last time the death penalty was carried out in The Bahamas was on January 6, 2000, over 22 years ago when David Mitchell was hanged for killing two German tourists.

All death sentences since then have been 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 the execution of convicted murderers, we will never see the death penalty carried out in The Bahamas again.

Thugs will continue to take innocent lives knowing that they will face no real consequences for their evil.

It is our view that the biblical basis for capital punishment must be followed.

It is God 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.

The blood baths must stop, however. We must do what is necessary as a people to address the issue of murders, 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 legislators to greatly increase the penalties for all violent crimes, including rape, armed robberies, assault and possession of illegal firearms.

Below are biblical passages that command that the death penalty be carried out both in the Old and New Testament.

We have noted that not one prophet in the Old Testament or any of the New Testament writers, including the Apostle Paul, condemned capital punishment or even spoke out against it even once.

Jesus never taught that capital punishment should be abolished as many false teachers today falsely promote.

In fact, Jesus Christ, Himself received capital punishment at the hands of the Roman soldiers. He never opposed capital punishment because His word supports and commands state killings.

Capital punishment was established by our creator, God, to remove offenders from society.

No government or institution has the authority to overrule God’s supreme laws. Capital punishment was never meant to be a deterrent, even though it is, when it is carried out speedily. It was meant to punish murderers for taking precious lives that God created

All moral laws have their root in the Bible including capital punishment. The death penalty was always mandatory, except in the case of accidental or unintentional death.

Below is what God says with regards to murder and capital punishment in His word.

In the Old Testament, the following passages clarify the fact that capital punishment is necessary to maintain law and order for the safety and protection of citizens.

Genesis 9:6: “Whosoever sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”

Exodus 21:12: “He that smiteth a man so that he die, shall be surely put to death.”

Ecclesiastes 8:11: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”

To those who claim that capital punishment applied only in the Old Testament under the Mosaic laws, you are in error.

According to teachings in the New Testament, it is clear that, Jesus and the apostles were in full support of state killings and never once condemned them. Below is what New Testament passages say about capital punishment:

Romans 13:1: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be (governments) are ordained of God. For he (rulers) is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid: for he beareth not the sword (capital punishment) in vain; for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Matthew 26:52: “..All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

Revelation 13:10: “…He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.”

Note: The “sword” is referring to murder.

Capital punishment was established by God for the protection of society and to remove the offender from society.

Human life is sacred and no man has the right to take another man’s life except in self defense or during a war.

We are convinced that the culture of murder will not change in The Bahamas until capital punishment is carried out according to the Constitution of The Bahamas and the laws of God.

All opposed to capital punishment, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, the European Union, the Privy Council, liberal judges and politicians and human rights activists, and some deceived church leaders, are all on the wrong side of the supreme laws of God with regards to capital punishment.

They will all one day stand guilty before God for this grievous error.

They know better, yet prefer to be politically correct, changing the will of the Most High, while at the same time, rejecting the truth of God’s word.

Bishop Walter S. Hanchell


Citizens For Justice Bahamas

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