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Abolish the death penalty

We are deeply concerned that former National Security Minister Robert Montague continues to campaign for parliamentarians to gain the political will to revive hanging in Jamaica.

We at Stand Up for Jamaica are again repeating that the death penalty is not the answer to curbing the country’s crime problem.

Mr. Montague says there are statistics to show that hanging is fit for purpose for Jamaica as keeps murders low.

He argued that between 1962 and 1987, an average of 297 persons were killed per year when hanging was still on the books compared to the average of 1,094 people per year between 1989-2014 since the last hanging took place.

This argument is baseless as there is no clear link that the omission of hanging led to the spike in murders on the island. This will be a blatant infringement on the basic human right that the state should do more to protect and preserve at all costs.

We are committed to keeping advocating for the abolition of the death penalty.

Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to crime and does not address the root causes of crime.

We agree with Mr. Montague that parliamentarians should update these laws or remove them from the books. The time has come for the Government to move ahead with the abolition of the death penalty.

It is important that the Government of Jamaica complies with its obligations to protect human rights and we urge the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs to place on its legislative agenda the removal of the death penalty.

However, we believe there should be a much broader approach if we are to fix the crime problem in our country. Instead of reviving this inhumane and ineffective practice, we are urging the government should address the critical reforms needed in the justice and law enforcement systems.


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