[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Dec 12 16:06:41 CST 2008
Death penalty could choke foreign aid to Jamaica - junior minister
JUNIOR MINISTER for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr Ronald
Robinson, says Jamaica could be denied developmental support from some
countries opposed to the death penalty because of its move to retain
Robinson said yesterday that despite the possible backlash from countries
that provide aid to Jamaica, the State should move decisively to carry out
the death penalty.
Contribution to debate
He was making his contribution in the Senate to the debate on whether to
retain or abolish the death penalty.
"In the foreign ministry that I am attached to, we understand the
ramifications of the retention of the death penalty," Robinson said.
"In fact, I will say, there are countries that have made it quite clear
what they will do if we were to retain it (death penalty) in terms of
donors, accessing aid development, etc."
Robinson argued that the 1st duty of any government or parliament was to
ensure that citizens of the state were protected.
His comment came as his colleague Senator Arthur Williams, participating
in the same debate, pointed out that at least 1,543 persons have died
violently since January.
Robinson said he has worked in inner cities and has observed how these
communities organise themselves in terms of social services, security and
how they provide justice in their own way.
"The area dons in their communities, they have their own constituents,
almost a state within a state. They dispense justice, they give social
services and, in a funny way, you have to admire their leadership styles
in a lot of ways because they are very decisive and they are very bold;
they make a decision and they stick by it," he said.
Of the eight senators who participated in the debate yesterday, three have
given a clear indication that they are against hanging, while the same
number supported the move.
Security minister against death penalty
Among those who want the death penalty removed from Jamaican law is
National Security Minister, Colonel Trevor MacMillan.
"I wish to place on record before this honourable Senate my unequivocal
rejection of the proposal to resume the use of the death penalty in
Jamaica," he said.
MacMillan contended that the death penalty would never serve as a
guarantee to lower the rate of crime.
Leader of government business in the Senate Dorothy Lightbourne sought to
present a balanced view on the controversial matter. However, she did not
divulge her position on hanging.
Respect retentionist views
Her opposition counterpart, A.J. Nicholson, declared that, despite his
position as an "abolitionist", he was bound to respect the views of those
he described as retentionists.
Nicholson told his colleagues that as long as the death penalty remained
on the law books, as a legislator, he was obliged to "see to the carrying
out of the law".
Government Senator Dwight Nelson, who declared himself "a good Roman
Catholic", said he supported hanging, a decision which conflicts with the
position of his church.
The only current legislator whose child was killed brutally, Nelson said
he subscribed to the view that the murderer should be punished for his
The Lower House voted recently to retain the death penalty.
(source: Jamaica Gleaner)
UN rights chief hails end of death penalty in Togo
The U.N.'s top human rights official has welcomed a decision by Togo to
remove the death penalty from its penal code.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the abolition of
capital punishment in the West African country demonstrates Togo's respect
for the right to life.
Pillay says the decision by Togo's council of ministers Wednesday sent a
strong signal on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of
In a statement Friday, she said the move shows Togo is putting in place an
"objective justice system that doesn't resort to violence."
Togo has not applied the death penalty for 30 years.
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty