To hang or not to hang — that is the question!

Dear Editor,

The Bahamas has had three execution-style double murders in a three-week span, for a grand total of 89 murders in 2018 thus far. There are arguments for and against the death penalty, but philosophizing alone does not produce tangible results in reducing criminality and murder. My personal opinion is that the government should resume hanging, but not as a knee-jerk reaction to the reckless, rampant taking of human life we have been witnessing.

Whether or not hanging reduces murder rates in this country can easily be tested to settle the matter once and for all. Start with those people now on death row. People already guilty of murder committed by armed robberies, home invasions, domestic violence and execution-style killings, where guilt has been upheld by the Privy council or our Court of Appeals should be first on the list!

The Privy Council has already determined that in the Trinidad case of Jay Chandler, the mandatory death penalty can be upheld, unless a person can prove that he or she was not responsible for the act (diminished responsibility). This government can simply resume hanging for a period of time (maybe one to two years) and objectively end the debate. We already have the statistics on the murder rates without the enforcement of the death penalty. If it is found that hanging reduces murder rates then we should apply it using our objective evidence as a response to the protests of intrusive so-called human rights groups and foreign governments. After all, we do not have their culture, levels of education and resources for public indoctrination and education that contribute to their reduced per capita murder rates. We cannot get their results by simply half-heartedly adopting their strategies in what is a very different and less educated culture here, but that should be obvious!

The prime minister is duty-bound to use all means at his disposal to address the out-of-control murder rate in this country, especially after his pre-election support of hanging and his recent laughable gaffe about Bahamians not being afraid with escalating murder rates. If he chooses not to do so, it will be another nail in the coffin (pun intended) of his short and unremarkable political career. Even without the high murder rates, many of the Bahamian people are ready to dispose of him right now!

— JB

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