Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says the People's National Movement's (PNM) opinion on legislation to implement the death penalty is illogical and untenable. Ramlogan said this in response to Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley's position that while the PNM supported the death penalty it would continue to vote against any bill which sought to categorise murders in T&T. Rowley said by categorising murders the death penalty would not be carried out as convicted killers would get a new avenue to delay their executions.
He said they would challenge their categorisation in court and that could significantly delay the implementation of the death penalty. He said that would be especially so because of the Privy Council's Pratt and Morgan ruling for convicted killers to be hanged within five years of their conviction. But Ramlogan said Rowley "continues to demonstrate his lack of class and unsuitability for high public office." Ramlogan claimed that was so because of Rowley's "refusal" to acknowledge and meaningfully respond to two letters he sent to him for clarification of the PNM recommendations for consideration and possibly inclusion in a new bill to allow for the execution of the death penalty in T&T.
Rowley, however, said on Wednesday he had no intention of responding to the letters as the PNM's position and recommendations were already outlined in a public debate on the matter in Parliament almost one year ago. But Ramlogan hit back yesterday, saying: "His response underscores his ignorance and arrogance on this serious and important matter." Rowley said Ramlogan's letters were "impertinent" and added nothing to the matter at hand. Ramlogan said Rowley's admission that the Opposition had no further role to play in the matter was "a startling abdication of the PNM's political and constitutional responsibility to the people of Trinidad and Tobago." He said: "It is an attempt to hoodwink the population into thinking that the PNM supports the death penalty when it does not."