Senator says bring back death penalty


A government senator would like for capital punishment to be reintroduced as a means of punishment for people who commit serious, heinous offences.

Speaking in the Upper House on the Larceny Amendment Bill 2017, Lennox Weston said persons found guilty of an offence under the Bill will be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 35 years.

But Weston also wants criminals who kill innocent people to face the hangman’s noose.

“This is signaling very clearly those who deal in crime will pay a very heavy, heavy penalty, they will lose their freedom, and if we can ever get the hangman going again, we can actually have one or two of them being hanged, and make them understand that the old testament is still alive, that if you needlessly, cruelly go and take an innocent person’s life that we still believe that part of the old testament that says ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,’” Weston said.

He is of the opinion that these individuals should not be allowed to commit such odious acts and sit in prison on tax payers bill.

Weston said he is not making the argument that capital punishment would be a deterrent to crime, but a tougher stance must be taken against these criminals.

“Because I have heard too many of these hardened criminals say they will take it and go and lie down. We have to feed them for the rest of their life, and then when they realise there might be a hangman they begin to cry like babies.

“So I don’t know if we can get around all the time limitations, but I certainly believe that, I am not saying it is a deterrent, I hear people always have that argument about deterrent, I am not trying to deter nobody. If you figure you want to do this it must be as certain as daylight this is your fate,” the senator said.

However, Antigua and Barbuda has not carried out a hanging in over 25 years, based on a landmark Privy Council ruling which requires that executions take place within five years of conviction.

The country’s final appellate court ruled that beyond that length of time would constitute inhumane and degrading punishment for persons waiting on death row.

The Privy Council also said the mandatory death sentence for a murder conviction was unconstitutional.

Based on reports, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal struck down the mandatory death penalty for murder in 2001.

In Antigua and Barbuda, Tyrone Nicholas was the last person to be hanged for murder on February 2, 1991.


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