PM Gonsalves shares thoughts on the death penalty
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
April 14, 2023

PM Gonsalves shares thoughts on the death penalty

The controversial issue of the death penalty came up on NBC Radio’s Face to Face programme on Wednesday, April 12, as Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves expressed concern about crime and whether certain offences require capital punishment.

On Easter Monday the country recorded a fatal shooting, the first killing by a firearm since February 9, 2023.

Gonsalves is urging young men to restrain themselves and end their fascination with guns for taking out their anger.

“Everyone has to have a patience and a calm. Not because you get angry or lose yourself to restraint you have to go for the gun. There has to be something that holds you back.”

Gonsalves said that something has to be instilled in the family, schools, churches, the community, mass media, the State and with the appropriate legal framework.

The prime minister said, unfortunately, both the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council decided practically that no one can be sent to the gallows any more for murder.

“I have oscillated between the death penalty and no death penalty for a long time now over the last dozen or so years and I came to the conclusion that there are particular offences you need the death penalty for.”

He believes it should be for murder, but not those of passion. The prime minister said that distinction was made in the Constitutional Reform Proposal which went to the people, however, the people rejected it.

“There were many proposals but this was a critical one to write into the constitution… what was not there before… so we could carry out the death penalty in particular cases.
But there it is…we may have to go back to the people on that.”

The prime minister added that in the meantime, the existing legal systems will be used as SVG seeks to see how it could bring up persons, particularly young males, and have the necessary restraints so they don’t resort to the gun. (Caribbean Loop News).