I really don’t have much time to write alot here, but I wanted to give a quick statement on my position as regards capital punishment. Even as early as Saturday afternoon I heard rumblings about the need to reinstate capital punishment, mostly as a reaction to the horrific murder of Rhiana Moore. I am also aware that there are some factions within the Party that are very much pro-corporal and capital punishment. This shocks me knowing how much the Party fought against the death penalty when in opposition, a case that was made explicit in the run up to the executions of Larry Tacklyn and Buck Burrows.
Already these sentiments are taking on a more concrete form, with IMHO reporting that a facebook group has been set up to advocate just that. I also understand it has been a topic in todays radio talkshows.
I will post more in-depth on my thoughts on capital punishment later, but I wanted to state quite clearly that I am very much opposed to any steps towards reintroducing corporal or capital punishment in Bermuda. There are numerous studies that prove that it does not act as a deterrent. The only benefit of it is that it can give a sense of revenge, either collectively as a society or more narrowly, as such it is an emotionally reactionary action and nothing else.
I am very much in favour with the right to self-defence even up to the point of killing ones attacker, but capital punishment is simply cold-blooded murder. It does not provide that sense of closure that its advocates argue for. It only allows for revenge. While I understand the frustration of rehabilitation being felt as a burden on law-abiding society, and I understand the emotional reaction of the victims who demand capital punishment, I cannot see how we can, as a society, condone cold blooded murder.
I think it was Ottie who in the run-up to the executions in the mid-70s, at the ‘Peoples Parliament’ convened in Victoria Park said “Who will hang the hangman?”
Any move towards reintroducing capital or corporal punishment must be opposed by all those who consider themselves progressives. As said, I’ll write more when I have the time later, but I felt it necessary to get an initial post up now.