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A life for a life!

marciadottin, [email protected]

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Death for anyone convicted beyond a shadow of doubt for firebombing a Bridgetown clothing store where six people perished a few days ago.That clear and unequivocal call has come from Minister of Culture and Community Development Steve Blackett. He said in New York that the masterminds of the robbery and multiple killings should be prepared to “give up their lives” for their actions if found guilty in a court of law.“I certainly still believe that if you take a life, you should be willing to give yours up in return,” he told the DAILY NATION. “That is the position I hold now, and I don’t know if I would change in the years to come. “They always say the death penalty does not stop people from committing murders, but it would certainly stop that particular perpetrator.”Blackett, who is in New York for the annual West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn, described the Tudor Street firebombing as a horrible crime that merited the maximum penalty for murder, and called for quick action by the police to bring the killers to justice.Extremely foreign“That kind of crime is extremely foreign to Barbados and to Barbadians,” he said. “I don’t want to be presumptuous in saying exactly who the perpetrators are likely to be. But it is certainly not the kind of crime that is perpetrated by Barbadians.”However, the minister was quick to say that in any investigation, court trial or punishment, Barbados must ensure that innocent people aren’t convicted or punished.“You have to be so careful when it comes to the pronouncement of death. You have to be absolutely clear, 100 per cent sure that the perpetrator you are sentencing to death is really the person who committed to crime.“Because we have read and seen in several pictures and coverage of certain crimes that innocent people are put to death. But if you are sure beyond all reasonable doubt that this person is the guilty person, I believe the maximum penalty should be administered.”Under Barbados’ law, the maximum penalty is death by hanging.