To Hang or Not?

July 20, 2010

Don’t Hang Them
Verna St Rose-Greaves, who has been named Special Advisor on Children’s Affairs to Prime Minister Kamla Persasd-Bissessar, is against the People’s Partnership’s current moves to return to the hangman, saying she will not compromise on her views that capital and corporal punishment have no place in a civilised society.

…Verna: I will walk if hangings resume


July 18, 2010

Martin Daly: The fallacy about hanging
This week I write about implementation of the death penalty. I seek to infuse recent extempo utterances on that subject with a stiff dose of legal reality.


To Hang or Not?

Newsday Editorial
July 07, 2010 –

MINISTER of Works, Jack Warner, has placed the question of the death penalty back on to the public agenda, with his remarks on Monday that he has advised Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, to work towards resuming hangings in this country. He told reporters, “As Acting Prime Minister, I want to tell you that on Thursday at Cabinet meeting, we will sit down and discuss ways and means of starting back hangings.”

Warner said that the mere passage of new laws by the Government would not deter criminals if there is a lack of political will to enforce the death penalty as meted out by the law courts. He noted there have been 265 murders so far this year, which we note is only half-way through.

The 120-Day Plan of the People’s Partnership Manifesto in the recent general election had vowed, as item 11, to initiate an anti-crime plan to cut the country’s high murder rate, with the first phase of the plan running from June to December.

To add to the Government’s urgency is the need to be seen to be hitting the ground running, especially in view of the impending July 26 Local Government Election a mere two months after the general election.

Mr Warner’s remarks may well re-ignite debate on a contentious issue in which both sides of the fence have sincerely-held views. Does the death penalty deter future homicides, and even if not, is it justifiable under the old adage of an eye for an eye? Or is this nation best served by adopting the values of first world countries (presumably to which this country aspires to emulate) most of which have abolished the death penalty?
Full Article :

55 thoughts on “To Hang or Not?”

  1. I am a Christian. The Lord’s prayer teaches us how to pray in this mostly Christian country, named in thanksgiving for the Triune God- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, after a time of doubt by Columbus’ men.
    Is there a part of this prayer, available to all Christians that says “Lord help me to take vengeance on those that I hate, and on those who did me wrong?”
    No, that prayer says :”Lord, forgive me my trespasses(wrongs) to the same exact extent that I forgive those that trespass against me”. Of course some people are not Christians, they believe they could bribe God with their money and few crumbs to charity. Leave them with that.

    Ten years ago, my students and I were debating the death penalty in class- at the time when Texas had executed 40 people and the murders continued.
    One of my students said he wanted the man who killed his mother executed! It was the first time I realized why he was such and angry young man. There was a silence in the room. Then I asked: Will this bring you beloved mother back” I let that float for a while. Then I spoke of the forgiveness we profess as Christians, and reminded him that that young man (the murderer)was in error, but his wanting him executed was also in error. As they began to see my point, I asked them for a personal promise.This is what I said: “Now, I travel through dangerous neighborhoods to come here to teach, to uplift. There are students in this school who wear ankle braclets to be monitored by the state. Anyone who fails my class, could take a shot at me; but hear this. If ever I am murdered and the perp caught, on the day of his sentencing I want you to turn up in court and attest to the fact that I have been against the death penalty all my life as an adult Christian, and that I would not want that person executed. Will you have the courage to do that?” They nodded and raised their hands. It could not get more personal than that.

    I retired five years later. I am sure that those young people, now graduated from college, still remember that each time such a debate comes up. One only has to sit in church for a few quiet minutes, to realize that the cross hanging there, is a symbol and reminder of an unjust execution, trumped up by the political heirarchy for their own purposes.
    Here I stand, said Martin Luther, nailing his 95 Theses to the church door in Germany.
    This is where I stand as I say goodbye to comments on this thread. There is nothing more to say, so I will maintain a dignified silence, while I continue to pray that my country of birth be washed clean from the bloodshed of hatred and vengeance, and the slave/ indenture mentality that wants to wreak on the population, the brutality that was visited on us by our colonial masters. We need a fresh start in our thinking. The counties that gave us the death penalty have all abandonned it. They also said that our people are savages.

  2. I believe hanging/lethal injection should be reserved for the most henious crimes. If a man tortures a family, brutally rape the women, finally killing them, should be be allowed to live for 50 years in prison assuming he is 25 years old at the time of the crime???

    It cost about $50,000 a year to keep a prisoner alive (guard, food,shelter, medicine etc). That means it will cost about $3 million (add inflation) to look after this unrepentent cold blooded killer to the end of his lifetime. With a snap of the neck or lethal injection the tax payer would be spared the expense of looking after this piece of trash. He would be given an opportunity to make his peace with the family(ask forgiveness etc) and Maker and then a quick exit out this world.

    It is simply not economical for the tax payers to keep funding the lifestyle of people who have caused incredible human suffering to innocent people. The point is this if the rules are established then all who don’t play by the rules knows the consequence. No surprise for them.

    The government bears the sword and in times of lawlessness they must use it to maintain civility. I however believe that all hangings should be done on one of the islands (carera or nelson).
    To the government I say get on with it boys…and end this debate.

    1. “Police officials said the caller informed them that bodies were strewn in a ravine about a quarter mile from the main gates of Solid Waste Management Co Ltd, operators of the public dump.
      The child’s body, hacked off from the neck to the knees, was found lying face up. It was clad in a multi-coloured underwear.
      The woman lay face down in the drain. Both legs were neatly sawn off and were sticking out from the ravine. Her lower body, cut off from the waist to the knees, was found several metres away.

      Both bodies were bloated and semi-decomposed. The boy was believed to be between five and ten years of age. The ethnicity and age of the woman were uncertain. Police believe that the remains were stuffed into a garbage bag, which was later picked open by corbeaux. A heavy shower of rain caused the ravine to flood and the gush of water scattered the dismembered remains.” Guardian 22/7/2010.

      Here is an example of where I would support the death penalty for these killer or killers. The nature of this crime is psychologically disturbing. Those who would support feeding these animals in prison for the rest of their natural lives need to experience what the family of these victims experience…..

  3. I agree,as to this being”much ado about nothing.”It’s time to end this pointless debate, on whether imprisonment is more costly,than the entire process of domestic trials,and international Privy Council appeals for those with the means.
    It is the folks that voted,who have to decide 4 years from now,if they were served by this Owellian,Animal Farm State aparatus.

    1. Your description of this present PP government as “”an Orwellian Animal Farm apparatus” is misplaced.It fits more appropriately with the last regime
      Consider Huxley’s “Brave New World”to characterize the Peoples Partnership.

  4. I firmly believe that,Rudyard Kipling’s illusional world , is more appropriate in their case. He said ,“When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace….. that the wars of the tribes would cease.But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.” …. after this is accomplished, and ‘the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,’
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”

    To your point , remember too ,that the majority of your party’s hierarchical stalwarts,had to survive for some 40 out of the 48 years under successive PNM regimes,so some of the dysfunctional social characteristics must rub off.
    One of my Black Socrates disciples Chalkie, made a satirical kaiso, some years ago,entitled ‘Ram the Magician.’ In it he poked fun at some immigrant , alleged economic miracles in T&T . Hopefully no PP member ,took him seriously ,to the extent that today they truly believe they can also achieve their idealistic version of utopia that you alluded to , by pulling rabbits and tatoos from out of straw hats , through playing business as usual, importing foreign experts,maligning nationals they perceive as politically hostile ,ignoring large segments of our society ,while pandering to others .
    The result of such fallacies , would certainly ensure that many would be in the Parliamentary Back bench , as they eventually will be forced to earn a living outside the corridors of political power,quicker than you can say 2014.
    I could be wrong , but think not, as precedents have been set before, when due to perpetual missteps, overkill, arrogance,internal implosions , and squabbling ,euphoria soon evolved into languishing despair, in the political wilderness.

  5. Jack disappointed with Verna’s anti-hanging talk
    Minister of Works and Transport, Jack Warner, said yesterday he was disappointed that social activist Verna St Rose Greaves has considered leaving the People’s Partnership Government without discussing her concerns over the issue of hangings of death row inmates.


    Warner was asked to comment on Verna St Rose’s decision to leave the party if they reintroduce corporal punishment. Warner said: “She is entitled to her opinion…I believe and other members who think like me are entitled to ours. “In this Government or party, we believe in collective responsibility and if the party decides that hanging has to be resumed then I would accept and if they say otherwise I would also accept.” Warner said. He added he would not hold the party to ransom and decide to resign or not depending on what the party did. “That is not my style,” Warner said. (

  6. July 22, 2010

    Capital Punishment 2

    Capital Punishment 2

    Capital Punishment 3

    Capital Punishment 4

  7. Now folks , this is the way you speak and operated as to attempt to ingratiate yourself with the powers that be, in efforts to secure a position on the employment food chain.It is 2010, and this so called objective expert Social Scientist thinker in Dr. Deosaran,is calling for the death penalty,and licking his chops at the fact that we will get a white foreigner to tell us how to curb crimes in our own country.
    The irony is that both him and similar advocates will be the first in line to demand a moratorium on proposed state murders,when they recognize that the majority of criminal culprits might just emerge from within their camp, and not the typical demographics they might suspect.
    The bigger one is , that come 2014 ad beyond, when a possible new regime takes over, and they in turn ,are popping necks , left right and center, then the cry would again emerge of racial persecution, genocide, and similar accusations.
    I stand corrected!

  8. Get rid of the damn Privy Council. We do not have the technology to combat crime as effectively as the countries who are aligned with the Westminster system, i.e. UK, Canada, Australia. If we continue with this appeal system for criminals to keep delaying this thing, we’ll never ever curb crime. The USA still uses it for a reason!

    Hangings must resume because then, and ONLY then, will criminals realise that they won’t be sponging off of tax-payers for the rest of their lives in jail.

  9. When T&T get a Government that is not 75% culturally prejudiced along the lines of 18th century India, a reasonable argument can be made for Capital punishment. Capital punishment in the hand of this regime and its sycophants in this blog who are salivating over the vicarious thrill of witnessing the execution of people they associate with support of the PNM, is nothing less than an excuse for genocide.

    People would be fools to trust this lot. Kamla won and all of the pent up “awee time now” aspirations has begun to manifest itself.

    1. “Capital punishment in the hand of this regime and its sycophants in this blog who are salivating over the vicarious thrill of witnessing the execution of people they associate with support of the PNM, is nothing less than an excuse for genocide” Ruel
      Ruel if hanging a few cold blooded killers is genocide then I have to say you certainly have a few screws missing in your head. Why don’t you do us all a favour and go and reason with these monsters in prison. Maybe you can rehabilitate them and bring them to live with you. Just do it bro, just do it and stop trying to insult our intelligence.

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