Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A backwards step in Jamaica

After a twenty year moratorium, Jamaica's Parliament has voted to restore the death penalty. It's a definite backwards step. While Jamaica struggles with a 1,200 murders a year (more than 20 times the rate in New Zealand), the death penalty is no deterrent, and will simply add to the body count. Their problems centre on the low chances of being caught, rather than the severity of the punishment. But restoring hanging will make it look like the government is doing something, and appeal to the public's desire for revenge. And the Jamaican government may be re-elected over the bodies of the people it murders.