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December 6 2008 | JAMAICA

Jamaica

Death penalty will be kept

 
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AP

Jamaican parliament votes to keep death penalty

Jamaica (AP) _ Jamaica's parliament easily rejected a proposal Tuesday to ban the death penalty in a vote propelled by the country's high homicide rate and a horrific series of recent crimes against children.

Capital punishment has long been on the books in the Caribbean country but recent governments have been reluctant to issue death warrants and the last execution was in 1988.

There have been widespread calls in recent months for executions, even by members of the clergy, after the beheading of a young girl and the discovery of an 11-year-old boy's dismembered body in a trash bag.

Asked whether capital penalty should be kept, 34 members of parliament said yes and 15 said no. There were 10 absentees.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, whose Jamaica Labor Party took power last year for the first time in nearly 20 years, pledged to resume executions as one response to a homicide rate that has repeatedly ranked among the world's highest in recent years.

Opponents said the death penalty will not deter crime and the government should focus instead on attacking poverty and reforming its justice system.

«What has happened that will change the circumstance of one murder?» said Carolyn Gomes, executive director of Jamaicans For Justice. «It's a complete of waste of time, we should be focused on apprehending people who commit crimes, getting them before the courts and the courts ruling expeditiously on those matters.» More than 1,240 killings have been reported so far this year in the island of 3 million people, nearing last year's total of 1,400. Jamaica reported a record 1,671 killings in 2005.

Chicago, a city of about 2.8 million, reported 443 homicides in 2007.

 

EFE

Parlamento de Jamaica vota a favor de mantener la pena de muerte Kingston

 El Parlamento de Jamaica votó hoy a favor de mantener la pena de muerte en el país mediante la horca, después de 20 años sin producirse ninguna ejecución.

Un total de 34 parlamentarios votaron a favor de mantener en vigor la pena de muerte, 15 lo hicieron en contra, 10 se ausentaron durante la votación, mientras que el presidente de la Cámara de Representantes, Delroy Chuck, no votó.

Según las leyes de Jamaica, los hombres que son condenados por asesinato se enfrentan a la máxima pena por ahorcamiento, mientras que las mujeres son sentenciadas a cadena perpetua.

"La Cámara de Representantes ha votado en favor de mantener la pena de muerte en estos momentos", anunció Delroy Chuck.

Antes de la votación, una coalición de grupos defensores de los derechos humanos y líderes religiosos reclamaron a los políticos que no se mantuviera en el país la pena de muerte.

Las encuestas de opinión han indicado que el 90 por ciento de la población de 2,7 millones de jamaicanos está a favor de mantener la pena de muerte y la horca contra los condenados por asesinato.

Entre los partidarios de mantener la pena de muerte se encuentra el primer ministro Bruce Golding, quién se ha propuesto reducir el alto índice de criminalidad en el país.

En lo que va de año han sido asesinados 1.400 personas en Jamaica

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