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Resume hanging?

There is now an ongoing debate as to whether hanging should resume because of the high murder rate.

"Look how they kill the policeman last week and the woman in St. Thomas who worked so hard in England and now come home to enjoy the fruits of their labour," a vendor remarked this week. The vendor said she was very concerned about how crime was getting out of hand and predicted that murders were going to increase particularly because it was an election year.

"All murderers should be hanged because once hanging starts then those who go about shooting people like birds will stop," she said.

Another vendor who was sitting nearby selling his fruits, said "Hanging the few murderers who are caught will not solve the crime problem because only a few are caught."

"Well, we should hang what we catch, because at least the relatives of those they murdered will feel good to know that they are hanged for the lives they took," another vendor remarked. "Yes, if you are barefaced enough to kill then you must face the consequences and that is to be hanged," another vendor said.

Still on the books

Although hanging is still a punishment for murder, it only applies in certain categories of murder. The categories include the murder of a police officer, witnesses, judicial officers and double murder.

In the other murder cases, the sentence is life imprisonment, but the judge stipulates how many years the prisoner must serve before being eligible for parole. It is to be noted that no one has been hanged in Jamaica since 1988 and it is for the Government to decide whether hanging should be resumed or abolished.

February 9, 2007

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