By Royston Jones Jr.
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader Branville McCartney on Thursday doubled down on his tough stance on crime in The Bahamas, calling for criminals to be publically whipped and for sex offenders be castrated.
In his new year’s address, McCartney urged the government to wage an all-out war against crime and said criminals must know there will be “severe penalties and lasting consequences” for their actions.
He said the government is “clueless as to what to do” about the vexing problem, which is threatening The Bahamas’ social, democratic and economic stability.
“It is more than obvious that this administration is afraid to make the hard decisions to ensure that the criminal elements respect the law and that they know that there will be definite consequences for their criminal actions,” McCartney said.
Noting that innocent blood continues to be shed and the international community is highlighting crime, McCartney said the time has also come for the government to request advice from independent foreign law enforcement agencies.
He said if the government is serious about addressing crime it would stiffen the penalties for serious and even basic offenses.
As an example, McCartney said people charged for illegal firearms possession should be immediately prosecuted and sentenced to a minimum of seven years.
Currently the minimum sentence for that crime is four years.
However, it is unclear how many people, who have appealed their sentence in the Court of Appeal, have been granted a reduced sentence.
McCartney once again called on the government to get serious about the enforcement of capital punishment.
He said the government must do what it must, even if that means abandoning the Privy Council and making the highest court in The Bahamas, the Court of Appeal.
As it relates to unemployment, McCartney said many Bahamians are struggling under the weight of a sluggish economy, which he said the government has failed to significantly improve or diversify.
At last report the unemployment rate was 16.2 percent for the period April 29 through May 5, 2013, up from 14 percent.
He said the 10,000 jobs promised along the campaign trail was just one of many empty promises.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian