Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hang 'em High!

Like most Trinbagonians I believe we need to foster a humane society where the value of human life is respected. And where those who don’t respect it are brutally executed. That’s why I support the enforcement of the death penalty. By resuming capital punishment, T&T will send a strong moral message to the violent gangs and crime lords currently terrorizing our land: cross us and you’ll die. It will also help teach the youths that killing is wrong. The same way I intend to teach my son about the dangers of alcohol; by making him watch me get drunk and then beating him senseless.

Last week, the Government and the Opposition held a meeting to discuss ways to deal with the current crime epidemic. Because after all, they are both experts in criminal behaviour.  It was a relief to see that the biggest idea emerging from this meeting was a mutual commitment to the death penalty. For a minute I was worried that both parties had actual crime fighting ideas, which would naturally include scrapping capital punishment. But thankfully, the PNM and UNC are both courageously sticking to their principles of completely ignoring science, research and facts.

You see, Amnesty International, who obviously loves rapists and murderers says there is no scientific evidence to suggest that capital punishment is a deterrent to crime. In fact, they say capital punishment is often used in countries that have “skewed” justice systems, discriminatory laws against marginalized groups and who utilize the death penalty as a political tool. Which of course sounds nothing like Trinidad and Tobago.

Amnesty International also points out that the death penalty is extremely expensive. Its costs the state far more to house death row inmates, deal with their appeals and actually kill them, than simply imprisoning them for life. For example, the death penalty costs the US state of California $US137 million per year, whereas it would cost just $US11.5 million without it. T&T currently has 500 people on death row, and it could cost taxpayers millions to kill them. Perhaps even billons if they all order their last meals from Starbucks. Of course, just because something is ineffectual, counterproductive and seemingly pointless, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend millions of dollars on it. Just like we do with GATE, CEPEP and the T&T Police Service.

To really enhance the role of the death penalty in our society, the government should make executions public. And turn it into a cooler fete. Imagine an event hosted by Ian Alleyne and featuring the Malik folk performers and the Shiv Shakti dancers. After an inspiring dance routine to the tune of David Rudder’s classic 'Ganges meets the Nile', both dance troupes proceed to stab to death a convicted criminal. This way the government can raise much needed revenue and people who are depressed since Crime Watch got canceled will have something as equally entertaining to look at.  

We should also try and localize the way we execute people. Instead of hanging, how about we sentence someone to a chopping? Instead of death by lethal injection we can have death by a bottle of Gramoxone. And forget firing squads, we can sentence people to face a good bottle pelting on J’ouvert morning. Who needs electric chairs when we can make people climb a T&TEC light pole? Utilizing local ways to kill people would be a great way for us to showcase our talent for bloody retribution to the world and perhaps start a new market in execution tourism.

The bottom line is that there is nothing we can do to stop violent crime in Trinidad and Tobago. Sure anti-death penalty pansies will go on about the need for education, family planning and stopping state funded projects that embolden gangs. But where’s the fun in that? Besides, who cares if the death penalty doesn’t deter crime or serve any public good.  As any classic western starring Clint Eastwood will teach you, true justice isn’t predicated on the ideas of a civilized society where even the worst criminals are treated humanely; but rather on the ability to extract cold blooded revenge, with a harmonica playing in the background. That’s why I say, Hang 'em High!

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