Saturday, October 13, 2012

Say no to capital punishment in The Bahamas


By The Bahama Journal

Human rights do matter; and so does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Clearly, then, the right to life should be considered and described as the world’s number one right thing owed every human person.

This is why – and here closer to home – we pray for the soon-coming realization of our hope which tells us that, we should and must work with all who would in the first instance, obtain a legal moratorium on capital punishment and thereafter, work for the abolition of the death penalty in The Bahamas.

In this regard, take note that this Wednesday past [December 10th. 2008] marked the sixtieth anniversary of one of humanity’s truly great discoveries; to wit, the revelation and recognition that all human beings do have certain inalienable rights.

It is also to be noted that this initiative was spearheaded by former U.S. first lady and U.N. delegate Eleanor Roosevelt, the UDHR guaranteed the political and civic rights of all people, including the right to freedom from torture, slavery, poverty, homelessness and other forms of oppression.

Note also, this Wednesday past marked an important occasion which – regrettably – went unnoticed by practically anyone in media who could have and should have known that, billions of people around the world were – even then- marking the tenth anniversary of the “World Day Against The Death Penalty.

Here we are reminded that this celebration was launched by the “World Coalition Against the Death Penalty” in 2002.

In truth, even though more and more countries are abolishing capital punishment, 57 countries still adhere to the practice. Amnesty International says 20,000 people worldwide are currently on death row.

Sadly, some who now languish in this tormented state are born and bred products of states and peoples in our region.

Sadder yet, there remains a hue and cry from Guyana and Trinidad in the south to the Bahamas in the north for the resumption of this barbaric practice.

But yet [and notwithstanding the blood-curdling cry for blood coming fro the lips of hundreds of Bahamians, we remain confident that – when all things are said and done – this barbarism will be brought to an end.

We are also confident that, those who now run things will – sooner rather than later – join in with that growing majority of mankind who has decided to put an end to this vestige of utter backwardness and depravity.

We remain ever optimistic.

And yet, the truth remains which so ably demonstrates that, Bahamians from practically all walks of life have been transfixed by what they describe as a so-called crime wave.

Most of these people are becoming more and more appalled by the spiraling rate of murder, rape and other instance of carnage and social mayhem.

But as bad as these things now seem, on examination and closer scrutiny they pale in significance to what we would deem the real crime menace in The Bahamas. That real menace being the social rot that provides the breeding ground for those instances when — as they say — things get out of hand.

It is this rot that provides the ground for the efflorescence of those offences that grab public attention, matters like murder, rape and bloody robberies.

We have previously suggested that the crime rate is little more than the fever chart of a sick society.  By extension, we would wish to suggest that the current focus on policing might well be an exercise in futility.

As the street-wise know so very well some of these deals would involve the trade in guns, drugs, other contraband and certain counterfeit goods.

We make this point in the same breath as we note that there is an abundance of evidence that strongly supports the conclusion that The Bahamas is home to tens of thousands of people who routinely flout the laws of the land.

These offences range from the crimes committed by those people who routinely smuggle goods into and out of The Bahamas to those offences that are routinely committed by rogue police officers and other thugs in uniform.

And so, things become ever more foul as the state gets in on those practices which – taken in their entirety – not only lead from deprivation that ends in poverty but which also conduces to producing criminals and any number of cut-throats; thence the cry that these people should be killed.

This is dreadfully wrong.

11 October, 2012

Jones Bahamas