THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am in two minds regarding the sentences passed by Justice Lloyd Hibbert on those persons convicted of murdering the good Samaritans.
First, I am saddened that he appeared to have thrown in the towel in not imposing the death sentence on those persons. He has, apparently, taken 'judicial notice' that death-penalty cases will, in reaching judicial closure, take in excess of the five-year period set out in the Pratt & Morgan decision given by the United Kingdom Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC). To impose a death penalty in that context would involve the court acting in vain.
It is bad enough that counsel for convicted murderers take advantage of the invitation given by the JCPC to drag out proceedings for that time. For the fault lies not with the person who drags out proceedings, but with the system that allows proceedings to be dragged out.
But when the court itself views the imposition of a death penalty as acting in vain, then something is wrong.
Harsher treatment necessary
Having said that, I am pleased that Justice Hibbert has raised the bar in terms of the number of years to be served before those convicts can apply for parole, and I can only hope that the Court of Appeal does not reduce that period.
Convicted murderers are treated too lightly in this day and age. Having been convicted, they must expect and receive the emphatic denunciation of society for what they did.
Life should mean life. No issues of rehabilitation should arise for murderers. They must only leave prison in coffins.
That should be the only alternative to the death penalty.