Majority of the people living in the Caribbean region support the death penalty, yet many states leadership have decided that they are smarter that the people who elected them to office, so they have decided not to hang murderers.
The Jamaica Labour Party resisted the full powers of the CCJ on the basis that it was a hanging court. In February, 2005, the Privy Council declared that the CCJ-related companion bills passed by the Jamaican Parliamentin 2004 were unconstitutional and therefore void. The bills would have established the CCJ as the final court of appeal in Jamaica. The Privy Council sided with the appellant, including the Jamaican Council for Human Rights, the Jamaica Labour Party and others, ruling that to establish the CCJ as the country’s final appeal court, without it being entrenched in the constitution would undermine the protection given to the Jamaican people by Chapter Seven of the Jamaican constitution. The court concluded that the procedure appropriate for an amendment of an entrenched provision—a referendum—should have been followed. In January 2012, the new People’s National Party government of Jamaica stated that it would be moving to have the CCJ serving in both the original and appellate jurisdictions for Jamaica in time for the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence in August. The Jamaica Labor Party, now in opposition, stated it has no issue with the government’s plan and seems set to support the move despite strident objections in the past. In February, the foreign affairs minister of Jamaica has also called on Trinidad & Tobago to sign on to the court’s appellate jurisdiction to mark that country’s 50th anniversary of independence.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Court_of_Justice
The Jamaica Labor Party initially objected to the Caribbean court, on the basis that it was a hanging court. Even though the party later seemed to side with the People’s National Party’s plan to have the Caribbean court as the final arbiter in original and appellate jurisdiction for Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of it’s independence.
Attorney General Patrick Atkinson has reiterated that there is no need for a national referendum on whether Jamaica should adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court of appeal. Legislation has already been tabled to amend the constitution to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final appellate court. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=45305
I disagree with Atkinson, the matter should be put to a vote, yes the people elected the government to make decisions for them, but on a matter of this significance it is important for posterity that the people get their say.
The people in Barbados Belize and Guyana have already fully adopted the CCJ as their final court.
The Labor Party never stated what issues it had with hanging , outside of its claim that the CCJ was a hanging court. The party obviously had it’s come to Jesus moment and saw the light. However there are still lingering trepidation on the part of the Jamaican government to carry out the will of the people and put violent criminals who have exhausted their appeals to death.
Putting these criminals to death is not a panacea that will fix the country’s crime problem but it is one more way the government, acting on the wishes of the people can signal to criminals, that it is serious about dealing with crime and terror in the country of 2.8 million people.
The long overdue police station in Falmouth Trelawny is a welcome change for the men and women who were forced to work in the dilapidated dump they previously had. But building police stations are just a tiny part of what needs to be done to fix our country’s burgeoning crime problem.
The issues that some raise about human rights in Jamaica are legitimate issues, what disqualifies lobbies like Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) from legitimacy is their single-minded focus on what they perceive human rights abuses to be. In the case of the group JFJ their understanding of human rights abuse is confined to alleged abuse committed by agents of the state.
I believe that the issue of human rights are not confined to protection from excess of state agents, but are universal. I particularly believe the rights of victims of crime far outweigh the rights of those who have consciously decided to break the country’s laws, then turn around and demand respect for their rights.
People like Carolyn Gomes and Susan Goffe of JFJ and others who believe that fighting for the rights of the most despicable criminals is a worthy endeavor are well within their rights, we disagree. What we will be doing here is to tell the Jamaican people what they really stand for , even as we ask them to obey the country’s laws, which is one way of reducing the risk of violent confrontations with agents of the state.
Let me be clear, I spent literally 10 years as a front line cop, serving both on the high-intensity former Ranger squad, and as a member of the CIB in the latter part of my service. I have removed many weapons from the streets and put scores of criminals in jail where they belong, to include cops who decided to be criminals. I have been shot in the line of duty, yet I have never had the need to pull the trigger on anyone in the capacity of judge and jury.
Killing criminals regardless of their crimes, extra-judicially is criminal and serves no one. There are those who say they were police officers who are now jumping on the band-waggon against police officers, I will withhold my comments on those.
Police officers should have no compunction about taking out criminals who try to kill them or has killed someone and refuses to surrender. Neither Carolyn Gomes, Horace Levy, Susan Goffe, Earl Witter, or Terrence Williams have the right to make that call for you. They are grand-standing Elitist, do your jobs.
The criminals lobby called JFJ is the mouthpiece of Amnesty International and the Inter American Commission of Human Rights, these agencies do good work in their base countries , Britain and the United States respectively, yet neither agencies can alter or propose legislation which will interfere with the rule of law or the actions of police officers doing their lawful duties.
In fact, despite controversial killings of minority men all over America and in Britain by police, both these groups are never heard from. These matters are left up to duly authorized investigative bodies, at either the local, state or federal levels to do what they are trained to do, then the courts do what they are supposed to do.
The government may crow about the building of the new police station in Falmoth Trelawny, but unless there are concrete measures in place to deal with criminals these facilities are nothing more than window dressing , band-aid on gun-shot wounds.
Put the matter to the people let them decide, they will decide to move fully to the CCJ. There is no reason we should be asking England to decide our cases for us. It is a silent but embarrassing acquiescence to the arguments that we are not smart enough to govern ourselves.
Moving to the CCJ will allow the people’s wishes to be carried out and murdering criminals can get their just deserts, right labor party?