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Barbados seeking to abolish mandatory death penalty
Published on March 28, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Julia Rawlins-Bentham

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- The government of Barbados will be seeking to remove the mandatory death penalty imposed on those convicted of murder, when it pursues amendments to the Offences against the Persons Act next month.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite
Attorney general and minister of home affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, made this disclosure on Tuesday during an interview with the media.

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 the 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, 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.

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.
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