Statement of the Problem
The possibility of error. Sometimes a person might be put to death who is innocent.
|Informing the debate on capital punishment |
|The following was submitted by the Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights |
|Sunday, February 18, 2007 |
There has been much public discussion about the death penalty lately, since Mr Derrick Smith's statements earlier this month calling for resumption of hanging and the proper equipping of the police to assist in the restoration of peace and security in the society.
|Smith. called for resumption |
|of hanging |
While it is important to debate the issue, the public must be informed with facts and opinions. The Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights hopes to inform the debate on capital punishment by addressing the most pertinent issues surrounding this complex societal issue.
The topic is very emotive and very important as it is rooted in the first human right - the right to life.
It is important to take the time to deliberate rationally on this issue - to base our opinions upon informed considerations, consistent with our values, and not assumptions.
In the past few days, several persons have expressed their opinions and set out some facts. In order to clarify the law, we state in brief, the present legislation.
The 2005 amendments to the Offenses Against the Person Act have made substantial changes in the sentencing of persons convicted of murders. The amendments have the following effect on the law:
. The terminology "capital and non-capital" has been deleted,...