Government Seeking To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

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Government will be seeking to remove the mandatory death penalty imposed on people convicted of murder when it pursues amendments to the Offences Against the Persons Act next month.

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, made this disclosure today during an interview with the media, following the opening ceremony of a Boys to Men workshop at the 3Ws Oval, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

The Attorney General said he was aware that it would be a ???battle??? to remove the mandatory death penalty, but stressed that the entire country will be engaged in dialogue on the issue, as Government prepares to take legislation before Parliament.

???Barbadians generally feel that once you commit murder you should forfeit your lives, but that is until one of their family members is involved,??? he stated.

However, Mr. Brathwaite said he hoped those views would change, following the expected public dialogue on the issue. ???I know it will be a battle, but??? I believe that it is a better path for the country,??? he said.

Mr. Brathwaite also disclosed that Cabinet had agreed to the concept of parole, but stated that the necessary infrastructure needed to be in place before it is implemented.

???We need to address issues of resources, training those who would work with such a system, and the space,??? he said, adding that the electronic monitoring of persons on parole would also have to be considered.

He noted that what currently obtained was that those serving sentences at Her Majesty???s pleasure would write to the Privy Council seeking release.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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