Tue | Nov 24, 2015

EU committed to abolish the death penalty

Published:Wednesday | October 10, 2012

The European Union has used the occasion of World and European Day Against the Death Penalty to reiterate that one of its priorities is the abolition of capital punishment.

In a statement published in the newspaper today, the EU made no specific reference to Jamaica.

However, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, said capital punishment violates the basic human rights to life and dignity.

Currently, Jamaica is bound by a ruling from the United Kingdom-based Privy Council on the death penalty.

The law lords ruled then that the death penalty must be carried out within five years after it was handed down.

It should also be imposed only in cases which, on the facts of the offence, are the most extreme and exceptional, the worst of the worst, or the rarest of the rare.

The Privy Council also said that there must be no reasonable prospect of reform of the offender, and that the object of punishment could not be achieved by any means other than the ultimate sentence of death.

The EU said it has made abolition of the death penalty a top priority in keeping with the adopted Strategic Framework and Action plan on Human Rights and Democracy and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.

Recently, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR also called for Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to suspend the use of the death penalty.