THE EDITOR: Trinidad is quickly becoming the murder capital of the world. There have been many calls for a more consistent use of capital punishment, and rightly so. Capital punishment is a deterrent in the sense that the convicted person cannot repeat the crime/crimes.
The death penalty can be described as a form of self-defence of the State to protect its people against the destruction of innocent and valuable lives and property brought on by drug-related crimes.
Gang warfare and the flow of cocaine and other illegal drugs continue to undermine our faith in the Government’s ability to maintain peace and order. It is severely hampering our economic development and prosperity.
Some people have to constantly look over their shoulder as they are living in fear for their lives. Countless studies in the fields of psychology, sociology and criminology have established that the certainty of punishment, rather than the severity of it, is the decisive crime deterrent.
The death penalty must be administered rightly and swiftly in order for it to be effective in putting a dent in crime. Lawmakers should also focus on fixing law enforcement and the judicial system, and finding creative legislation to ensure that crime elicits swift, severe, consistent and certain punishment.