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Move by Govt to shorten appeals process welcomed
I served as a juror several times and have deliberated on more than one murder case. I recall the last one vividly where the presiding judge imposed the death sentence to a silent courtroom, which was eventually punctuated by the muffled sobbing from relatives of the ones convicted. And in my mind, as with my fellow jurors, I knew it to be a farce since hanging in T&T is as remote as snowfall. It is over ten years since the last death sentence was actually carried out and for all that time convicts rest easy on death row. This travesty has been signalling weak governance to criminals all along.
Moreover, it assures murderers and would-be murderers that there is life after committing serious crime even if caught, tried and consigned for execution. And if they are lucky, a pardon/reprieve may even come their way after five years. So the failure to address this lack of enforcement is arguably a significant contributor to murder rates. The move by the Government to shorten the appeals process after death sentencing is much welcomed and long overdue. Like crime itself, anti-capital punishment activists will always be around to come out of the cracks of hypoc-risy, spewing words from the Lord and condemning the cause.
But even as the ire of these rebels ignites, so too must the Government and Opposition unite to fight fire with fire when necessary. This bill is being monitored by all murderers and law-abiders alike. The good people of this nation need to know that our leaders put national interests first. We are taught that the human race is an imperfect species, which means that we will make mistakes.
Hence the maxim “to err is human.” Still, one of the fundamentals that sets us apart is our decision to act accordingly having learnt from mistakes. Many will proffer that the death penalty will not have God’s blessings, in spite of our imperfect nature. But there is mercy to be found in a desperate rationale that seeks to preserve the life of the innocent over that of the guilty. And should we find that we have erred, God forbid, then we must learn from that mistake.
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