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Baroness Patricia Scotland making a point to Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite. Also taking part in the meeting was member of the International Commission against the Death Penalty, Madame Ruth Dreifuss and British High Commissioner, Paul Brummell. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, has promised dialogue on the death penalty before any decisions are made on the issue.

But, he has indicated that any decision to have a moratorium on the death penalty until the conclusion of those dialogues was one that would have to be made by Cabinet.

Mr. Brathwaite was speaking during a courtesy call by Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group and former President of Switzerland and member of the International Commission against the Death Penalty, Madame Ruth Dreifuss at the Office of the Attorney General recently.

The Attorney General said he was concerned about the matter, and intended to lead debate on the issue. In the interim, he stated there was a recognised link between poverty and crime, domestic violence and murders. "The goal is to reduce the incidents of domestic violence, murder and the crime rate in this country," Mr. Brathwaite added.

In order to make this a reality, he noted that reforms to the Juvenile Justice System, the Domestic Violence Legislation and Family Law were high on the agenda.

However, he made it clear that he was not saying the ultimate goal would be the abolition of the death penalty.

The Baroness pointed out that records indicated that for states which had abolished to the death penalty, the murder rate dropped, while those who retained it saw the murder rate continuing to escalate. She added that there were also financial benefits of abolishing the death penalty.

Madam Dreifuss also pledged to give assistance where required to support the debate and to bring ideas on board.

Barbados has continued to vote against the biennial UN General Assembly resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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