Jun 15, 2016 News
“No circumstances under which its use is legitimate” – High Commissioner
While most democracies have long banished the death penalty, Guyana is yet to make the move to do so.
But with a new administration in play, there is hope that such would take place. The United Kingdom which has been supportive of the abolition of this form of punishment globally is therefore encouraging Guyana to do the same.
This is according to UK High Commissioner, James Quinn. In an invited comment, Quinn said he would not only add that Guyana should move to remove the death penalty from its law books but the UK would also encourage the nation to do so swiftly.
The elimination of capital punishment is a subject matter that has seen arguments from various quarters which support and reject its use. However, with the increase of horrific acts of crime, some opine that perhaps, abolishing the death penalty should be put on pause.
Kaieteur News had interviewed Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan on the matter and he made it clear that he is “completely against” the death sentence. Ramjattan even professed that he has the statistics to show that the use of such an extreme form of punishment does nothing to stop crime.
The Public Security Minister was reminded, however, of his Government’s stance in the National Assembly when it piloted the amended Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill which included the death penalty.
The politician said that while he admits that was the case, he believes that such a form of punishment would “stop a certain set of people who seek to bring terror on a group of persons or a nation”. He insists that in such circumstances, it would work. Ramjattan noted in the same breath nonetheless, that he is personally against the death penalty being used in the criminal justice system.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo sought to stay on the fence with regard to this matter. He asserted that while he is against the death penalty, he believes that there are some cases where it is applicable. Jagdeo said that when it comes to certain heinous acts of violence against women and children, the death penalty is warranted.
Jagdeo emphasized however that the coalition administration seems to be speaking from two sides of its mouth when it comes to its stance on the death penalty.
“One time they are saying they are against it, yet, unashamedly, they rush the AML Bill through the National Assembly without even giving it a second thought that they might look hypocritical, since it has the death penalty included in it as a form of punishment,” the Opposition Leader added.
It must be noted, however, that not a single individual was executed during Jagdeo’s tenure as President, although some of the most heinous crimes were committed during this period, which included the ‘crime wave’ period of wanton killings, executions and kidnappings.
While Jagdeo holds the aforementioned view, the UK High Commissioner noted that there are no circumstances under which the UK believes that the use of the death penalty is legitimate.
He noted too that even though it is the Government’s prerogative to pass the laws it wants, the UK’s view remains that there are no circumstances in which the death penalty is an appropriate sentence.
DECEPTION & CORRUPTION getting WORSE by the minute in GUYANA.
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