Minister McKenzie wants child killers hanged
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Desmond McKenzie is calling for justice in the form of hangings to be served for criminals who murder Jamaican children.
In an interview Sunday at the annual Wrath Laying Ceremony at the Secret Garden Monument in downtown Kingston which contains the names of murdered children, McKenzie said the sentence currently being imposed on the perpetrators was not adequate. .
“Those who are killed in a confrontation where a shooter would walk into a house and shoot an innocent child, there is no excuse. I don’t know how many police actions or how many laws we can put on the books, but as far as I am concerned, crimes against children should be treated differently and those who murder children should be sentenced to the death penalty.
“There are people who say it’s a step backwards to talk about hanging, but the price these criminals are paying and neglectful parents for brutal child abuse, we don’t see anyone paying the price they should pay and as a country we need to take stock and say ‘let’s do justice to the young people,'” McKenzie said.
Capital punishment, which in Jamaica is suspended, remains on the law books, even though the act has not been committed on the island since 1988, when Nathan Allen, who was convicted of murder, was killed on the gallows of Spanish Town Jail in St Catherine. , where it was done.
A moratorium was imposed on hanging after Allen’s death and it lasted until 2009, with Jamaica’s last court of appeal, the Privy Council, ruling in 2003 that a period of more than five years delay in carrying out a death sentence constituted cruel and inhuman punishment. , which violated the Jamaican constitution.
McKenzie, however, believes a serious approach must be taken to protect the lives of children on the island, with hundreds murdered in recent years by thugs, with the Secret Garden Monument, which was built in 2008 now out of space to contain the names of those killed. The monument was built during Mckenzie’s tenure as mayor of Kingston.
“We can no longer continue, conveniently, to talk about the atrocities that are inflicted on young people across the country and we are not comfortable that every year we come here to commemorate the unfortunate disappearance of young people, whose contribution to Jamaica can never be measured because we don’t know what they might have brought.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I want to extend that, not just to a village, but to a country, where we all have to be parents for those who need it and even for those who have parents, because too much teaching does not do too much.
What we need is a country that is more responsive, more understanding and more grateful for children, but it has to start at home first,” McKenzie said.
He said a new monument will be built to hold the names of the children who are killed.
Meanwhile, Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams agrees that the child murders should be hanged.
“The issue of murder is a major social issue. The issue of child murder and violence against children is a very serious issue and I think I would agree with Minister McKenzie, in terms of looking seriously at the issue, in terms of the legal framework said Williams when asked.