T&T gov’t minister calls for resumption of hanging

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, Rodger Samuel Monday called for the resumption of hangings as Trinidad and Tobago recorded its 14th murder so far this year.

Last year, more than 400 people were murdered in the country and Samuel, speaking on a local radio station, said the time had come to seriously re-think how the authorities deal with the issue of murder.

“We have reached a state in this country where we must decide and determine now (how) to approach the crime in this country, not just on the stand point we have been approaching it but to understand that in order for people to live at peace and that the rights of people be not infringed”.

Samuel, who is also a pastor, said “God instituted creation laws that if a man murdered a person and is found guilty he should not live.

“If a man shed a man’s blood then by man shall his blood be shed,” he said, asking “what kind of people are we dealing with who would walk into a house and chop up families to death, where somebody will chop up a child and put it in a barrel in the same room, what type of society are we dealing with.”

Samuel promised to take the issue “everywhere I need to take it. This conversation must begin again and we can come up with all reason to justify all of the human rights…but at the end of the day when persons gone through all processes of trying to save himself and is still found guilty then the law of God and creation must be upheld.

“If a person who does not want to suffer the consequences then they must do what is right and it is very important for us to see it from that standpoint. That is what the authorities of the land are suppose to ensure that people live at peace and for there to be peace and safety in the land,” said Samuel.

He said in order for safety and peace to be in the land “we will have to follow God’s instructions”.

He said he would continue his conversation as to why God put governments in office and “what is our role and responsibility to deal with the kind of crime”.

The last hanging in Trinidad took place in 1995 when Glen Ashby was hanged for stabbing a man to death in 1989.

But since then the authorities have found it difficult to execute any condemned person, pointing to efforts by lawyers to stall the process and the 1993 decision by the London-based Privy Council, which also serves a s a final court for many Caribbean countries, to put a five year time limit from the conviction to the execution of a condemned killer.

Trinidad’s latest murder occurred on Sunday when law enforcement personnel discovered the bodies of a man and woman in an apartment on the outskirts of the capital.

Police working on the theory of a murder-suicide, said that Amanda Persad, 22 was shot several times, while 24-year-old Shastri Roopnarine had a single gunshot wound to the head.

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