Acting Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney, believes there is still a place for the death penalty in today’s society.
“Over the years we keep hearing all the debate about it, but I think it still has its place. I think it can serve as a deterrent to some of the heinous crimes we are having. Some persons think it is inhumane but you need to have certain things to serve as a deterrent to crime. I am one of the people who think it still has its place,” the acting commissioner said.
He was speaking with OBSERVER media on the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty.
Rodney acknowledged that there are those who would argue that there are countries which continue to practice the death penalty which would suggest that it has not acted as a deterrent.
“But, I think that we need to have some sort of strong punishment to send a serious message in those cases,” Rodney said. “It is still on the books but there has been a lot of procedures and rulings from higher courts that give certain instructions.”
The World Day Against the Death Penalty is observed annually on October 10 since 2003.
It has been spearheaded by the World Coalition against the Death Penalty (WCADP).
Many renowned institutions that support the anti-death penalty thrust, including Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, are members of WCADP.
The annual commemoration highlights the plight of those who have been denied the most essential human right of all, the right to life, by the justice system.
This year, the aim is to raise awareness of the inhumane living conditions of people sentenced to death.
The Greater Caribbean For Life has highlighted that too often, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of prisoners are ignored, with many death
row inmates confined to harsh and inhumane conditions.
The rules set out the minimum standards for good prison management, to include ensuring the rights of prisoners are respected.
In a release, the activist group listed overcrowding, solitary confinement, substandard physical and psychological health care, as well as insufficient access to natural light as some of the problems plaguing those condemned to death.