Categorized | National News

Death Penalty Project Targets Bahamas

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – The World Coalition Against The Death Penalty has embarked on a regional death penalty reform project in the Eastern Caribbean and plans to seek the involvement of The Bahamas. 

The project is in partnership with organizations such as the Death Penalty Project, Greater Caribbean for Life and the World Coalition.

The project aims to create a platform for reforming the use of the death penalty in Barbados and Eastern Caribbean states with the ultimate goal of its abolition.

Also, providing alternatives to the death penalty and reducing the scope of the death penalty is a huge part of this project, which also encourages the vote on the United Nations Moratorium Resolution. 

During an interview at the 7th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Brussels, Belgium,  Chairman of the World Coalition Against Death Penalty and Representative of the Caribbean Coalition Kevin Miguel expressed that The Bahamas would eventually be included in the project’s efforts because the country is a apart of the Greater Caribbean for Life initiatives.

Although funding for the project is allocated for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean countries, Miguel said if there is funding to create more alternatives to the death penalty and reduce the rate of crime in the Caribbean, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty would embrace it.

“Of course, if there are any other considerations like local organizations against the death penalty in The Bahamas, we are always willing to work in networks,” Miguel explained. 

Some of the alternatives to the death penalty the project promotes include life without parole, life with parole and reforming the justice system in Caribbean countries.  

“We know that justice can be better and we can have better systems,” Miguel said.

However, he believes leaders throughout the region should take this step forward because there are some Caribbean countries that have the death penalty as law, but it is not carried out.

“Just having it there, what if something happens tomorrow? That doesn’t work,” Miguel said.  “Let’s go and play with the key factors that really gives us a better life standard.  Let’s go attack crime.  Let’s solve crime better.  Let’s have economic alternatives to those who are in organized crime.  Let’s have better juvenile systems of justice.  So I think that should be the new scope.”

The escalating levels of crime is a concern for many countries in the region, but it’s been proven that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime.  

“Impunity is a big issue in some of the Caribbean countries,” Miguel said.  “So impunity shouldn’t be there as a factor.  We should put in real resources in trying to solve crime.  Then of course we will be  understanding the value of life.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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