THE EDITOR: Crime in TT is a major problem as the senseless killings of our good citizens continue. Murder and kidnapping continue to traumatise us as they both have increased significantly in recent times.
We need much stronger measures for dealing with crime before things get completely out of control. For all of the murderers, rapists and any other severe lawbreaker, there must be some form of control and it must be capital punishment. Anyone who kills with no regret or rapes continuously deserves nothing but the death penalty.
Capital punishment is disturbing and makes people uncomfortable. It may even be barbaric, but so are many of the murders. There is no hope for criminals with this kind of mentality.
I believe capital punishment is essential in order to bring justice for families who have experienced the loss of a loved one due to a senseless murder. But in order for the death penalty to be effective, crime detection and arrest ratios must improve significantly. The rates are appalling and unacceptable for a country as small as ours.
The religious and moral case for capital punishment is quite complex. The Sixth Commandment does not speak against killing.
The Old Testament is filled with examples of the lawful killing of sinners by man and God. Translated from the original Hebrew, the relevant commandment accurately should read, “Thou shalt not murder.” Murder is quite a different thing from justifiable killing, as in a just war, self-defence or capital crime.
The overriding moral principle is “retribution.” A basic tenet of the law is that one who commits a crime be made to give up something he values in equal measure with the loss he inflicted on his victim.
For the theft of life under the most barbaric and premeditated circumstances, equivalence requires the giving up of something the murderer equally values: his own life.