Trinidad and Tobago wants to resume hanging. This is according to new Attorney General Faris al Rawi who said he intends to apply the death penalty and to this end he has set up a “tracking committee” to deal with the systemic clogs to ensure the effectiveness of enforcing it.
“I certainly intend to apply the death penalty which is the current law in Trinidad and Tobago, through due process. The point is making sure that due process works efficiently. The Death Penalty is the law,” he told reporters after the funeral of Trinidad and Tobago Regiment Corporal Shervaun Charleau who was gunned down while “liming” at Ft. George, Port of Spain recently.
He said whether the death penalty was an efficient measure to deal with crime that was a different issue.
“That is something as a society we must look at, but the laws of Trinidad and Tobago will be applied by this government,” he said.
Al Rawi questioned why the death penalty has not been applied in recent years.
The move to resume “executions” in T&T comes at a time when Amnesty International is calling on Caribbean governments for a moratorium on hangings in the region.
There are more than l00 convicted killers on Death Row, but they are unable to be “executed” because they had spent more than five years on death row and would soon have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
So far for this year 359 people were murdered.
The last hanging in Trinidad and Tobago took place in l999 when notorious drug lord Dole Chadee and his gang of eight were “executed” for the murder of a South family of four under former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj.
Since then, several killers have escaped the gallows after the London-based Privy Council, in a landmark ruling more than a decade ago (Jamaican Pratt and Morgan case) said the excessive delay to hang a condemned killer after spending five years on death row amounts to a cruel and inhumane punishment.
That ruling resulted in hundreds of prisoners then on death row in the Caribbean escaped being hanged as their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.