• Today
    May 26

  • 03:51 AM

No option but death ‘not fair’

GERCINE CARTER, gercinecarter@nationnews.com

Added 13 September 2018


Member of Parliament Wilfred Abrahams. (FILE)

Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Wilfred Abrahams put up a strong case for abolishing the mandatory death penalty in the House of Assembly on Tuesday.

Piloting the Offences Against The Person (Amendment) Bill 2018, he said the demands of the penalty of death by family members of victims, and the desire of the family of the accused to have leniency for their relative, both deserved consideration.

“The degree of the offence must be taken into consideration with the most serious degree punishable by death.”

Abrahams pointed out murderers had been sentenced to death but not hanged since Barbados’ last execution in 1984. He said successive governments and rulings of other courts whose judgements Barbados was bound to acknowledge through conventions it signed, had accepted “that it is not fair that there should be no option on a finding of murder but to sentence a person to death”.

“It is not fair for us to sit and determine that everybody charged with murder deserves to hang. The police get it wrong; the courts get it wrong. The problem with the execution of death is that it is the most final sentence.”

Abrahams suggested the final words from the judge to the convicted murderer as well as the anxious wait on death row, drove fear into the hearts of the convicted.

However, he insisted: “I personally have no sympathy for someone who sets out to kill someone as a malicious enterprise with malice aforethought, who plans and sets it up and ensures that that criminal enterprise is carried out, resulting in someone’s death . . . .

“But I believe that is to be reserved for only those people who fall into that bracket where the law has no other option than to take your life because nothing else will suffice.” (GC)


Dos and Donts

Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus


What grade would you give Government’s overall performance after the first year in office?