Is The Hangman’s Noose Missing?
Our society is being overrun by a wave of inexplicable crimes and cruelty.
With each generation comes an even more intense desire to be more creative in the various areas of criminal acts and enterprises. Yet, it is the spate of murders that is the sorest point of our cultural existence today. It is the acceptance as a norm that makes one shudder with alarm and fear for our future and present reality. These heartless acts never seem to have an end to the blatant manner in which they are carried out. To think that we have the best and ‘brightest’ minds on stemming, solving and eliminating these crimes is really a line of humour by itself.
The Ity and Fancy Cat show is facing much or even better competition from the set of comedians who perform like the entertaining cast of our local plays. I am speaking directly to the Jamaica Constabulary Force and its ineffective hierarchy of top ‘Generals’, from the Commissioner right down to the first tier of leadership to include Inspectors. Based on their appointments and continuous vacation while on the job, crime has dressed itself; fed itself; and has been living well.
The Jamaica Defence Force sits in its all-inclusive locations getting pedicures and manicures, reading through old strategic manuals without the least care or knowledge of its role.
Nonetheless, I’d be the biggest hypocrite to believe that both the JCF and the JDF are to be faulted on the mere fact that I am disgruntled. Now, here comes the government, donning that executive smile and charm, quoting data and outlining proposals that bear no substance of direction and implementation. It is no secret that this is the biggest failure of each government and is clothed with the biggest lies, only to be used against each other when competing for the top chair. We are yet to see any government make a successful attempt at employing efficient and effective strategies in achieving the goal of crime reduction.
The JCF is being overshadowed with little resources, in inadequately trained personnel; dilapidated internal infrastructure; and the neccessary tools to carry out their function properly. Yet, we like to stay in the background and criticize the efforts of our police officers who put themselves on the line to fight crime. Sooner or later, the frustration and disinterest will creep in and balloon into and a diabetic sore that just can’t be healed with mere instructions. The hours of work; the nature of work; and the compensation are some of the real issues that cripple the efficiency of the various units within the JCF.
Now, I will comment on the real reason behind the failure to stem the increase in murders. The frequency of these murders; the borders they have now crossed without trepidation that they will be held accountable; and the most important of them all, the fact that the punishment meted out is not enforced. How can we have Police Officers put in the dangerous and tedious work of investigative diligence and apprehension, only to see their efforts fail in the total process? The Prosecutors go at length to build reputable cases within the scope of law, only to see light sentences being issues and death sentences being treated as life sentences.
WE HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT!
Here we become entangled in moral and humanitarian debates about matters of law that still exist on the books. What about the victims, both deceased and living? What about the witnesses who faced threats and even open executions for their testimonies? What about the police officers who worked in stressful conditions and environments to put a thorough investigative file together? What about the prosecutors who used tax payers’ money without limit to obtain a conviction and even protect witnesses. Is it to alleviate the moral burden borne by the judges who administered these sentences, offsetting the emotional trauma of taking a guilty man’s life? I hardly think so and definitely see no evidence to support that notion either.
The truth is that judges follow a line of promotion which exposes the nature and role of law. They have been experienced defence attorneys; long serving prosecutors; and have benefitted from junior appointments within the Resident Magistrate’s Court up to their senior appointment within the Supreme Court. They are hardened and knowledgeable with intimate experiences that would encourage their views of capital punishment. It now falls back on the fact that we still consider the Queen of England as Head of State even though England relinquished Sovereign rule over us in 1962. What can we say though, when we have relied on their involvement on determining rulings through the Judiciary Committee of the Privy Council, acknowledging said Court as our final Court Of Appeal for so many years?
WE OWE ENGLAND NO OBLIGATION!
The formation of the Caribbean Court of Justice needs to be fully on the ground and operational in its full capacity so that Caribbean countries can outline and implement corrective measures to protect themselves internally. We are being held under judicial slavery by following the Master who, in 2004, at the 13th Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, signed a binding agreement to entirely abolish the death penalty in England. We model all our judicial process and decisions after England and as such fall under the ill-fated agreement that (by association), has taken our best deterrent to murderers. Now, without using the usual colloquial expressions, do you see why their Prime Minister thought it a good idea to build a prison here, to house the many inmates England wishes to get rid of in the short-term and long-term? That is because England faces similar challenges of murders but on a different scale and ratio.
THE DEATH PENALTY IS STILL LEGAL ON OUR BOOKS!
The only thing that can halt and change the landscape of senseless killings is to resume hanging without care for England and its noted agreement. We need the Hangman’s noose (figuratively speaking) around the necks of those so condemned. Not that it will be a cure for the many wounds that now bleed but it will be a beginning, in the right direction, to get closure and justice for those affected. More so, it will rid society of the prevalent spread of murders that seem to be infectiously stretched across our island. Special consideration must be paid to those who murder children; those who commit multiple murders, including entire families; those who murder police officers; and those whose resultant acts of murder occur during the commission of other crimes such as robberies and rapes. Lastly, special attention must be paid to those who have been involved in contract killings and the executions of witnesses. My plea will fall on deaf ears but I will still cry, “Bring back the justice of the Hangman’s noose!”
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