The recent upsurge in armed robberies coupled with bandits’ invasion of private properties and business places has given rise to renewed anxieties and fears of the ability of the security forces to render adequate protection to the citizens of this country.
It appears also that these bandits are not content to steal cash, jewelry and other material things. They also leave a trail of blood, taking the lives of victims at the least sign of resistance.
Consequently, these barbaric acts have triggered renewed calls for the reintroduction of the death penalty.
Amazingly, these gun toting bandits are mere tots, brandishing heavy artillery which they mercilessly turn on their hapless victims who hesitate to acquiesce to their demands. Logics dictate that those at the wrong end of the gun meekly hand over the loot and save their skins. Recently, it seems as though even though the victims willingly hand over their hard earned gains they are still murdered.
This points to a new dimension and the general belief is that these youth killers are spiked up on illegal substances that render them incapable of reasonable rationalization.
This phenomenon grinds on one’s patience especially since it seems as though the criminals are way ahead of the law enforcement officers. Guyanese are resilient people! How else does one explain their composed anger through years of suffering at the hands of these marauders?
How else, also, does one explain the law abiding propensity of Guyanese nationals, where despite severe financial challenges and an unstable business environment, precipitated by the adverse crime situation, members of the business community continue to battle the vicissitudes.
These businessmen often lose their hard earned possessions, and in some cases, their lives to gun toting bandits who appear smart enough to concoct foolproof schemes to effect these robberies yet find it difficult engaging that very brain power to devise initiatives to procure wealth and lead decent, law abiding lives?
With the recent upsurge in brutal robberies, it is a now calculated risk flirting jewelry, cash or material possessions of even minimal value. It appears also, that these bandits are doing their homework and selecting their targets with precision.
Lawmen must have detected a pattern where these youth criminals are swooping down on hapless citizens that are carrying lots of cash or those that have stockpiled huge sums in their homes.
Living in Guyana is now risky business and life expectancy is short, thanks to the young brigade of bandits that plunder, maim and kill with no remorse for their actions. Amidst it all, the officials of the Guyana Police Force remain baffled as the unsolved murder ratio climbs to frightening proportions.
Meanwhile citizens invest in sturdy locks that make a mockery of those used by prison authorities.
Many go about their business totally oblivious or in some cases, unconcerned with the plight of their fellow man because the scourge has not affected them directly. It is only when a family member or loved one lies prostrate in their own blood, the victim of a robbery that the sordid reality really hits home for some people.
The sickening pain and anguish emanating from the hearts of the victims’ relatives and friends should be enough to prompt legislators to head back to the drawing board and enact new laws, or enforce the current ones, to curb the blatant, presumptuous and senseless scourge that has claimed the lives of hard working Guyanese and has left their families in tatters.
Guyanese would remember, oh so well, when the bandits demonstrated total disrespect for law and order and the strongest Yale locks and grilled doors failed to thwart them. These bandits devised ingenuous ways of breaching the most foolproof security systems. Those were the days of ‘kick down the door’ banditry, when unconscionable marauders infiltrated the sanctity of citizens’ homes, plundered and then left their victims in a pool of blood.
Many will remember the swiftness with which former President Desmond Hoyte responded to such callous behaviour; when citizens quipped that the initials HDH meant ‘Hugh Desmond Hoyte’ but quickly changed to ‘Hang Dem High.’
Statistics will show that even though the executions did not halt the scourge of murders, the ‘kick down the door’ rampage became a thing of the past.
The debate still rages pertaining to the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent to murder and many people still think that it is inhumane, callous and totally unnecessary. The last executions at the Georgetown Prisons were on August 25, 1997 when Michael Archer and Peter Adams were sent away for the 1986 murder of Rasheeda Khan of Corentyne, Berbice during a robbery.
Their executions followed those of Ayube Khan and Rockliffe Ross, four months apart in 1996. The right to life is perhaps the most fundamental law of human existence and those that play God and deprive others of theirs must be met with the same force.
Ever since Adams and Archer were given their ‘just due’ the Death Row population has increased beyond capacity with no clear indication of when legal challenges to some of these sentences will be resolved In the meantime, the bandits continue to kill with impunity while the lawmen, even though enjoying a few successes, for the most part are baffled.
Recently, an overseas-based Guyanese was brutally cut down in East La Penitence for the gold chain around his neck. Should not these bastards be hunted like dogs and subsequently have a noose fitted around their necks?
Human rights groups suddenly emerge from the woodwork, pleading for compassion and/or leniency for these killers conveniently forgetting the motherless or fatherless children, scarred for life and deprived of a normal and wholesome sociological upbringing.
One does not have to commit murder or be sentenced to death to procure a vivid picture of the psychological trauma of convicts locked away in a cell awaiting the hangman’s noose.
These are the caliber of individuals that outnumber the warders. So even though these criminals are tucked away in a penal institution Guyanese cannot really rest easy. To begin with, the jail sits in the middle of the capital city and citizens must nurture fear and/or apprehension over this anomaly.
Are we sitting on a disaster waiting to happen? The fact that there has not been a repeat of the 1992 jail break is basically indicative of the skill, hard work and dedication of the warders, all committed to their jobs.
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