THE EDITOR, Sir:
In the aftermath of the barbaric rape of five women and children in Irwin Point, St James, recently, there have been emotionally charged calls for the perpetrators to be lynched or chemically castrated, neither of which will happen anytime soon. But they make great sound bites that assist in the sensitisation of an otherwise numbed people.
Our representatives in Parliament seem either afraid to resume hanging, not wanting to offend the criminal influential votes, or are not convinced of the efficacy of this method in curtailing heinous crimes such as murder, while not having the guts or will to add malicious rape or buggery to the list.
Too many are getting away with murder in Jamaica, and even when caught and found guilty, they could soon become a born-again Christian model prisoner who could have their sentences commuted. That, combined with having your incarceration dubbed cruel and inhumane treatment because of a drawn-out appeal process (Pratt and Morgan ruling), provide ready-made loopholes to get away with murder.
There are only a handful of persons on death row. Since our Independence in 1962, only 162 persons have been hanged, the last two being Nathan Foster and Stafford Dinnal in the first quarter of 1988.
Yet, tens of thousands of murders have taken place in the 50 years of nationhood, while the cleared-up and conviction rates remain low. I would say hang them, but we need to catch them first.
Solving our crime problem is a massive multisectoral task, particularly in a society where many who play by the rules get victimised.
Liguanea, Kingston 6