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John D. Kelly: Constitution cries out for blood

Published:Wednesday | May 4, 2016 | 5:00 AMJohn D. Kelly
Paulette Williams speaking on Monday about work done on her house in Huddersfield, St Mary, by Harold Nichols, a United States missionary who was murdered on the weekend.

This is an open letter to Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

The Jamaica Labour Party Government's 10-Point Plan to Prosperity has given hope to many Jamaicans, but this will be a mirage if murder and other crimes do not subside. It means that your first order of business must be to tackle murders and other crimes.

Your new government cannot continue the old, almost useless methods practised by the former Simpson Miller administration and expect a different result. This country has descended into one of the most lawless and violent societies with a new breed of heartless criminals.

No time must be wasted in finding new ways to deal with the high rate of murder. This recently elected JLP Government must reactivate the death penalty. You have not honoured your oath to uphold the Constitution when you refuse to observe the death penalty.

Those who argue that the hanging of murderers can be challenged under the Jamaican Constitution, at Section 3 under 'The Right To Life' in Clause (a), which states: "The right to life, liberty, and security of the person," and in Subsection 6 on Page 41 (which states, "No person shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment", need to read Subsection 7 on the said page.

It states, "Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or, in contravention of, Subsection 6 to the extent that the law in question authorises the infliction of any description of punishment which was lawful in Jamaica immediately before the commencement of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom Constitutional Amendment Act 2011."

Section 3, Page 38, Clause (a), in its complete form, states: "The right to life, liberty and security of the person, and the right not to be deprived thereof except in the execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence to which the person has been convicted."

So murderers have forfeited their right to live, and other criminals their right to be free, and to be free from punishment.

In the United States in 2014, a total of 35 criminals were put to death, and executions took place in every month of the year. In 2015, 27 criminals were put to death, and like in 2014, execution took place in every month of the year.

 

NOT A DETERRENT

 

Since 2016, 13 criminals have been put to death, starting January 7, with Oscar Ray Bolin Jr, and on April 24 with David Lucas.

I am suggesting, Prime Minister, that you and your Cabinet follow in the steps of the United States and uphold the Jamaican Constitution by hanging all those who are sentenced to death.

Do not listen to those who argue that hanging is not a deterrent. If death is not a deterrent to those wicked, cold-blooded murderers, what else will do? I dare say nothing else will do, so hang them as punishment required by our Constitution. At least we will be sure that they cannot come back to murder or do any other criminal activity. We would have more space in the prisons, and the taxes of relatives of murder victims would not go to feed them in prison.

The criminals must be laughing at us. They are busy murdering and robbing us while we are divided about methods of punishment for them.

Prime Minister, you have the legal support of the Constitution and the support of the Holy Bible.

Genesis 9:6 states: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Numbers 35:30, "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die."

Armed with the Jamaican Constitution, the Bible and the majority of Jamaicans in support of death penalty, Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet, the ball is in your court.

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