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Whilst delivering remarks at the Human Rights & Civil Society Grants Awards Ceremony, Ambassador Daniela Tramacere, Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Barbados, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, is reported to have noted that Barbados has not carried out capital punishment for at least two decades, in essence creating a de facto moratorium.
She further suggested that since that was the case, Barbados should take the next step and abolish the death penalty altogether.
Continuing, she said that the abolition of the death penalty was one of the key priorities of the EU’s external policy, and that there was no scientific evidence to support that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments.
Abolition of the death penalty is an EU policy, but thankfully to date, it is not a Barbados policy. If that is EU policy and it works for them, I have no problem with that, but I have not seen or heard of any official from Barbados suggesting to the EU that they should scrap their policy because it does not conform to ours and adopt ours.
The ambassador further stated she was not trying to impose their model on us, but all of us know a threat when we hear one, whether it is overt or implied. How many men on leaving home for a night “out with the boys”, have suddenly remembered that their cars were not working well, after hearing their wives say, “I am not telling you not to go out with the boys” . . . ? We know a threat when we hear it.
With regard to her comment that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent, I have checked several sources (including sporting organisations which impose penalties) on the meaning of these two words, and have found words like retribution, chastisement, retributive justice in reference to penalty, and in reference to deterrent I have found words like dissuade, discourage and remonstrate.
The only time I have come across penalty and deterrent to have the same meaning is in statements from people who oppose the death penalty. A penalty is just not the same as a deterrent, even though it may serve as a deterrent as well, but that is not its primary function. The primary function is punishment.
We would certainly save the country considerable sums of money if we just told the miscreants to run along and behave themselves, and allow the police and the judiciary to focus on other more pressing matters.
In short, I say let the EU keep their policy and let us determine our own policy. We respect theirs and we would expect that they would respect ours without any threats, either veiled or overt.
– ROLLINS HOWARD