KINGSTON, Jamaica – Former National Security Minister, Robert Montague, has come out blazing in defense of hanging, calling on his fellow Parliamentarians to muster up the political will to either remove it from the books, or start dragging murderers to the gallows.
Speaking in the debate on the Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction and Regulation) Act 22, in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Montague urged National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, to consider making the relevant legislative arrangements to resume hanging.
“We must give back the advantage to the law abiding citizen, right now the criminals have the advantage. It is time to arm the society. We must resume hanging without delay. We have stopped hanging, and we have created a murder factory. It is plain to see, hanging, the statistics show, is fit for purpose for Jamaica. It might not work elsewhere, but this 50-year study has clearly shown that hanging keeps murders low in Jamaica,” he stated, pointing out that between 1962 and 1987, some 7,447 people were killed in the island, an average of 297 year.
Montague said that 25 years since the last hanging took place in Jamaica (1989-2014) 27,367 persons or 1,094 per year, were murdered, in the context of a population which moved from 1.6 million to 2.8 million over 50 years.
“As a matter of fact we should build four more gallows, one on the west, one on the south coast, one on the north coast and one in the east. Most areas would be within one hour of one of them so as the judge pass sentence, straight to the gallows. You must be hung by your neck until you are dead, dead, dead, or until yu teeth ‘kin. If we don’t want to hang, remove it from the books,” Montague said.
He argued that there was a “conspiracy of vested interest” not to resume hanging, as legislators are not bold enough to bring the amendment to the relevant laws to Parliament.
“Until it is removed, let us hang them by the neck until they are dead. We must hang, shoot, inject or electrocute them, or remove it from the books. We cannot cherry pick which laws we are to obey. The vast majority of Jamaicans support hanging, yet some powerful and influential people don’t want hanging, then we wonder why we have a crime problem in this country,” he said.