Friday, 23 December 2016

The PNM, Crime, Criminals & The Death Penalty

In 1998, the PNM opposition refused to support a bill  brought by the Panday  government  that sought to resume hangings.  Patrick Manning was unequivocal in his refusal of PNM support for the bill that would have removed the major obstacles to the State's ability to carry out the death penalty.

In 2011, and again in opposition, the PNM did the same with similarly intended  legislation brought by the Kamla Persad-Bissessar government. By then, Keith Rowley was its  political leader and Leader of the Opposition. He was just as unequivocal in his refusal of PNM support for Kamla's 'Hanging Bill'.

Rowley is quoted as saying on Feb 24, 2011:

"The Opposition will not support Government's move to amend the Constitution to resume hangings. The Opposition is not supporting any amendment to the Constitution by this process,  we not doing that. We will vote against it. It will fall, We are not going to be bullied into following the Government's PR agenda. We say it before and we say it again; this attempt to come to Parliament with this bill to talk about hanging was done as a PR exercise in response to spiraling crime" Source: Trinidad Express

One does not need a degree in rocket science to understand the real PNM rationale for not supporting any bill or amendments to existing legislation that would  facilitate implementation of the death penalty. And one should not be surprised either, notwithstanding the deception and hypocrisy in their public statements of support for capital punishment.

We said it then and we will repeat it today. The PNM will never support legislation that threatens to crush on a substantial scale the criminality of its ethnic support base....

Plain and simple.

Patrick Manning referred to innocent murder victims as mere "collateral damage". Manning is now where he should have been a very long time ago but his PNM callousness persists through the party's ongoing failure to deal decisively with the criminality of its support base.

After 18 years (1998 to 2016) and some 6000 plus murders, the majority of which were committed by members of the PNM's natural constituency, the party continues to demonstrate that "PNM blood is thicker than water" and that it is not prepared to act responsibly in the public interest on the issue of the death penalty.

The party's former General secretary, Martin Joseph also now where he should have been long before he actually went there, chaired the last sitting of the Mercy Committee on July 9th, 2009 when it met to consider the last minute appeal of a convicted murderer.

Joseph took the unusual step of meeting with the killer's relatives to comfort them,  ignoring the victim's relatives as they sat in the lobby of the building while the committee met.

The killer's relatives were happy when Joseph cut short the meeting of the committee without  dealing with the killer's appeal even though the five-year deadline to lawfully carry out the execution was imminent, and any delay at that eleventh hour in considering the appeal would have resulted in the State being unable to carry out the Court's death sentence.

Questioned by reporters Joseph said: "The Mercy Committee deferred consideration of that matter to its next meeting." Pressed further as to the date of the meeting, Joseph declined to say.

Of course,  that meeting never took place, the five year deadline kicked in, and the killer is alive today, thanks to the then  Mercy Committee whose membership mirrored a PNM Party Group.

As we approach 2017, criminals, emboldened by the State's inability to hang them are killing with even greater impunity, yet this Rowley led PNM government - like others before it - appears complacent and unmoved by the bloodshed.

Their position? ...... Their defense?

"The PNM Government cannot solve crime or stop murders, that is the job of the Police, and the Government does not control the Police."

And We, the People, are supposed to be comforted by that bizarre rationale and abdication of responsibility  just as we are supposed to be comforted by another PNM decision to allow terrorist Muslim butchers who went to the Middle East - to kill innocent persons for simply being Christian - to return to this country.

Enlightened leadership and developed country status my anti PNM ass !!!!