Report Published on Opinions on Abolishing the Death Penalty in the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados

The Death Penalty Project on April 7th published its latest report: Sentenced to Death Without Execution: Why capital punishment has not yet been abolished in the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados by Roger Hood and Florence Seemungal with the assistance of Amaya Athill (Former Project Assistant at GCL)

You can download a copy of the report below:

“A study of this kind is the absolute need of the hour. The Caribbean countries have never had the benefit of an empirical study of this nature, looking at the opinions of influential individuals on the death penalty. It is time for the respective governments to show principled leadership to bring an end to capital punishment in the Caribbean. For the first time, they can rely on accurate data and independent research to introspect on their stance on the death penalty and take the necessary steps required for abolition”.

Leela Ramdeen, Executive Board Member, The Greater Caribbean for Life

This research study provides new empirical evidence based on the opinions of informed, influential citizens of why, in all the six member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Barbados, the death penalty remains on their statute books even though no persons have been executed for many years. The last execution in the region was carried out in St Kitts and Nevis in 2008. No one has been executed in the other countries for more than 20 years and in Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and Barbados for more than 30 years. Nine of the 12 Commonwealth Caribbean countries (including all jurisdictions addressed in this study, except for Barbados) have nobody, or only one prisoner, on death row. The research sheds light on why these countries hang on to capital punishment and what are the barriers and hindrances to its complete abolition.

This research, the first of its kind in the Caribbean region, interviewed personally 100 people, drawn from the seven jurisdictions, who were regarded by our knowledgeable local collaborators as ‘opinion formers’. They were selected from four areas of public life: politics and the higher civil service; criminal justice and legal practice; religious leaders; and well-regarded and influential members of civil society. Forty-eight revealed they favoured retention of the death penalty and 52 favoured of its abolition.

This study was co-funded by a grant received from the European Union and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The study has been carried out as part of a larger collaborative project funded by the European Union and undertaken by The Death Penalty Project; the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill); local civil society organisations Greater Caribbean for Life and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association;  and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

Professor Roger Hood (Emeritus Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford and one of the foremost experts on the death penalty worldwide) was commissioned to devise this research and write the report and his colleague Dr Florence Seemungal (adjunct staff member of the University of the West Indies Open Campus) was responsible for organising and carrying out the fieldwork, assisted by attorney-at -law Amaya Athill.

Published by gcforlife

Committed to fighting against the Death Penalty and State executions

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