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Apr 4, 2011

Death penalty still part of the law; but Barrow to revisit preventative detention

Dean Barrow

In the public outcry on the escalating crime situation, there is a plea to implement capital punishment. According to P.M. Barrow, the death penalty is still very much part of the law; however, there have been cases where sentences have been lessened depending on the nature of the homicides.  Again he reiterated the urgency to revisit preventative detention.

Dean Barrow

“The death penalty is still on the books in this country.  It’s not like before where you’re convicted of murder you should, in the normal course, be sentenced to death.  Now a lesser sentence can be passed and there are some cases of murder, murder has been, I’m not and haven’t been a criminal lawyer to practice criminal law for a while but I know enough to know that there is murder and there is murder.  And it is not in every case of murder that the court is even able to pass the sentence of death.  But in those cases where in fact the court is entitled to pass a sentence of death we want that sentence in fact imposed.  It is true that we’re not catching very many of them but that is even more reason to ensure that when we do catch and convict somebody the maximum penalty is in fact applied. I am at a point; I’ve said that in terms of the preventative detention I am determined to go forward with that—I need to be certain that my Cabinet is of the same mind.  Now, I am going out on a limb: I for one am certainly prepared to look at removing trial by jury in the case of charges for murder.  That is, well as of now—I am flying solo on that one—but I am telling you that I will certainly ensure that that debate at least takes place; although I can’t go as far as to say that as with the preventative detention provisions, I am confident that we will at least take those to the National Assembly.”

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35 Responses for “Death penalty still part of the law; but Barrow to revisit preventative detention”

  1. kinslito says:

    What would replace trial by jury? Would it be a tribunal of judges or magistrate? And can anyone tell me if that is a feature found mainly in Republics and if so, what that means for us as a country?

  2. Earl Grey says:

    PRISON FARM…………..

  3. Aint fair says:

    this good for nothing pm, when belizean bawl out, do u think u…he hear us….noo….when we’re promise land bcas we’re belizeans…do u think he entitle us one…..nooo…when cost of goods sky-rocket…u think this man at least consider d majority of belizeans that can afford it…nooo…when murder rate have been excalating ever since he came into power, have he given hope to d people that all will be ohk rather makin us panick whenver we go to by right a the store which is 5mins to our own homes….noooo address of combating crime, criminals are at large rite in our neighborhood… business is only good for this man alone, he and his family, while we’re here suffering….We aint got no leader, folks…..

  4. rod says:

    ive been telling you all that this man is a disconnect from the the people of belize and he still does not get it am gonna tell you the reason why barrow doesnt bring back the hanging penalty its because of the american gov. they have told him that if he does they will not give belize aid so for a few pieces of silver judas barrow has all the belizeans dying because he doesnt want to upset the us gov. this man judas barrow and his gov . is responsible for the deaths of all these people i have been telling you all this now everyday you and your family might be the next victim march people march get them out.

  5. say what says:

    i like dat trial 4 murder without jury. Dat mean more of these guilty killers will go to jail. We all know dat dis jury thing no fair fi di victims bcos jurors are afraid of the consequences of conviting guilty killers. Who wouldnt?

  6. risu says:

    This guy is full of $#!%. Preventantive detention, and trial by no jury, and the death penalty are not the solution. The problem is multi-faceted: social and economical. The outcome of those problems is CRIME. The source of the problem is not crime. I do not see him addressing the social and economical problem. Ppl who feel like all is lost and have nothing to lose, will take drastic measures to survive. What is the difference between getting shot in the street committing a crime to survive and being hung in prison? NONE. The problem will persist. These FOOLS (GOB) dont give a flying f*@#$k.

  7. chabelli says:

    i think we need new industries and more employment opportunities

  8. risu says:

    The reason there are so many backlogs in court is because the Attorney General’s Ministry is under-staffed. The Office of Public Prosecution is staffed by 8 personnel only (including clerks). Mr. Know it All PM should know this because he is a lawyer himself. But I guess he don’t want to fix it, means his private business can prosper because his company’s oppossing lawyers are government lawyers. Same applies when the opposition gets in power.

  9. defend BZ says:

    Look out aspiring politicians, union leaders and NGO presidents, you may find yourself in preventative detention with all your good intention if the honorable leader gets his way.

  10. Lucas says:

    I have more questions than answers. With what will trial by jury be replaced?. With a death squat?. Are we going down a road already travelled by our Central American Neighbours during the second half of the 20th century?. Are the measures proposed like a drowning individual trying to catch desperately unto a floating straw? When criminals mastered the guts to strike fear in the heart of a magistrate( remember the magistrate that packed her luggage and went back home to Canada because she had been threatened?), to intimidate witness and to assualt armed policeman, they showed they have no fear and no respect. Does govt. really think that preventive detention will solve the problem. In my opinion, govt. is not serious in solving the issue of CRIME and I will tell you why. We all know that there are foreign govts. and organizations that give millions to govt. but are against the death sentence. If govt. carry out the death sentence then the millions will be lost and govt. does not want that. So they are proposing the band-aide solution to a problem created by govt in their greediness. Yes! Sir. After independence we signed agreements after agreements with foreign entities and now we have our hands tied-up. We sold our birth-right for a pot of beans. The last agreement implemented is banning spanking in the classroom. WE have created a monster and continue to create more. We have made our children what they are. Desperate situations demands desperate measures and if govt. truely wants to solve the problem of crime then we must revisit all foreign agreements and back tract on any that has tied us up even if that means losing the millions and implement the death sentence. We must destroy the monster that is destroying us even if that means hanging a few of our own children. Believe me. The prospect of death strikes fear in the heart of man. But you see, govt. is more interested in the millions and in the next election rather than in the next generation.

  11. rasman says:

    Why is there no political will to use the death penalty? Is it because those we offend are not the Belizean people. Dean have balls, and institute the death penalty instead of preventative detention that will have innocence people detained.

    Have ball, boy impose a state of emergency in that section of the city. Or that will make you look bad. We ya da PG no need preventative detention, we cool. so keep you problem there.

  12. Belizeans 1 says:

    Is this Pm for real????? He is the very person that represented and faught and secured the freedom for the some of the most notorious crime heads. Dean Barrow is part of this problem in a major way. All the millions the he has and flaunts come from defending crime.The people have no respect for this man. Anything he says no longer has any validity. All I can say is we as Belizeans who care about our people and country…PRAY! Dean Barrow is the devil and he is leading our country. PRAY!

  13. alqueen says:

    what we need is to look closely at the judicial system the indictable cases especially murders need to be dealt with expeditiously. the cases are being prolonged for years before it goes to trial. by the time the case callls up the potential witnesses are afraid to testify because they have either been threatened, attempted to be killed or have been killed before the trial date. this is because the defendants gets disclosure like three years before the case goes to trial and this gives them enough time to have the witneses killed or threatened. they should be given disclosre like one or two weeks before the case is set for trial. and make sure that it goes to trial. most murder cases goes “Nolle Prosqui” due to reluctant witenesses. we also need that witness protection program. lets get it done and stop giving the criminals too much room for improvement to abscound the judicial system.

  14. MyLegacyB4MyPeople says:

    That’s it right there islander, allowing citizens to defend themselves as criminals will always have guns but if they think that the person in the street that they are targeting also have a gun they will think first before trying anything and if they do shoot they better make sure they catch. I am of the opinion that this government has something against its own people since they blatantly refuse to defend them against these monsters in the street and also refuse to grant them the right to defend themselves, don’t see the sense in making new laws if the government does not have anyone on their team with enough sense to prosecute and win these cases seems like the defense always ends up winning these cases. Remember, My Legacy B 4 My People.

  15. B Groovy says:

    I say vigilante justice…….

  16. Swamp Dragon says:

    Jesus man! Get with it! This guy isn’t going to accomplish anything.

  17. Oscar965 says:

    All we see are “conferences” enough!! Time for Action!!!

  18. deedee says:

    This is so sad, Belize is lying in state at its own funeral & the citizens don’t even realize it. It took the death of two Chinese individuals for this retarded, lame @$# government to take notice of how serious the crime situation is. The dumb !*%#s held a press conference talking nothing but B.S about how they will try & tackle the situation…& that’s all Belizeans are ever gonna get from them, nothing but TALKING. Look at how quickly these people got together & mobilize, venting their frustration through the city streets all without a permit…I salute you guys. Maybe by doing this the COWARD BELIZEANS will for once take a stand & send a firm message to their government letting them know that they will no longer live in fear by the hands of IGNORANT, ILLITERATE, TRASH & REJECTS that plagues most of the city’s streets.

  19. belizeanpride says:

    if the death penalty is still in the book then why the hell don’t you bring it on dean barrow, we’re tired of the b$ you always bring to the media. We don’t want preventative detention but death penalty and we’re on the track of keeping the scumbags online again. …………. so maybe you can bring the death penalty and see what we’re asking for. if your the PM act like one and serve the country good we put you there and we can get you off from there.

  20. belizeanpride says:

    like Earl Grey said previously dean barrow is ready to SHYNE on the belizeans again with the death penalty still in the book and preventative detections. are we ready for another one first it was the son now the father get ready people or are we getting use to thier ways of these liars shyning the belizeans.

  21. risu says:

    These proposed legislative ammendments are not sane. It is just a show to say he is doing something. It also reveals how powerless these bigots are. It is a drowning man’s kick. Preventative detention is the demise of free speech and democracy. You think it won’t affect you? Wait and See. I was walking my dog by he US Embassy one night and got stopped because I looked suspicious. Wait ’till preventative detention is made law. They will be able to hold me in order to ‘prevent’ a crime. And since the PM says the names will not be disclosed, no one will know I am being held. Ppl will just start to disappear. You think u have nothing to fear because you are a law abiding citizen? I say, wait and SEE. You will remember my words.

  22. No Playing says:

    Firstly we need to overhaul the courts and get it functioning. Start 8am and get it going to 5am. We want stiffer, harsh sentence. These regular customers at the courts should be put away. Put these people away for very long time. Nothing less than 20 years. Each sentence should begin with a public flogging. Use the death penalty. It might not be a deterent to crime but its a justifiable form of punishment to one that take a life. Hang them. The prison needs to be a place of punishment. No one should go to jail and boast about going back. Once you go there you’d never want to go back as the experience would be nothing nice. Firstly, no cell phones, no tv, no family food delivered. Work these inmates. Shackle them at the feet and have them break rocks from 6am to 6pm. Feed them poorly. After spending a 20 year sentence if they do get out they would never want to get back in there. I’m sure this would let them think twice about taking a life. Being poor is no justification to go rob or kill, also parents should be held accountable for their kids action. If they are out late at night or out of school, then deal with the parent.

  23. ny says:

    the prime minister’s comments are quite offensive in my humble view. it illustrates how disconnected and ill equipped he and his gov are to dealt w/ the crisis the country is now faced w/. preventative detention is laughable and ironic, what that is saying in my opinion is that we know who the criminal elements are but yet, we allow them to terrorize the streets freely. the pm is in a bubble, which he needs to get out of so he can be empathic to his fellow bzean. to solve the promblem in bze is not an easy task because its not one dimensional, but that does not mean we should sit by and watch our jewel’s name been stained by just a few. here are a few steps that we can take immediately, 1) amend the sentencing guideline because they are comical, the sentencing should reflect the crime, for e.g. if u get caught murdering someone to enrich yourself, you should forfeit your life, an illegal firearm should carry a sentence of 10 yrs, illegal ammunition 5yrs for the first one and 1yr for each additional, 2) the death penalty is still on the books, therefore create a deterent by traumatizeing the criminal elements by executing five of their own right before their very own eyes, this way it will give them something to ponder upon before taking a life; 3) disseminate the new sentencing guidelines throughout the entire country, eventhough majority of the crimes occur in the belize district, this way everyone will be aware of the consequences they will face for their actions

  24. Mr Bigga Badda says:

    i see every ine wondering why GoB does not implement Death sentence.The short answer is that no GoB today tomorrow or 50 years from now can ensure that death sentence is handed down to murderes. Why? because our old plantation masters at the Privy Council in England decided that death penalty is not a mandatory sentence for murder even though that is what the law of Belize says in Black and White. Privy Coucnil said that what was meant by the framers of our criminal code was that death penalty should be implemented only in the most extreme cases. that’s one of the reason we left Privy Council because those old white men sitting in England know nothing about the crime we are facing in Belize. The Privy Council decisions are binding onGoB, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and Magistrates Court so we are stuck in a fix. The law is on the books but Privy Council have pretty much left us between a rock and a hard place.
    THe only way death sentence can be implemented is by ammending our constitution (because people like Mr Simeon Sampson used it to win cases so that convicted murders could not be hanged). The ammendment will not get the support of the opposition becuase the opposition just never supports any governement bill even if it is good. Then the GoB would have to pass a law expressly abolishing all Privy Council decisions that are currently preventing the implementation of death sentence.

  25. Nothing Personal says:

    But what happen to the big gang members this waste a time PM want to send to the villages, i was so piss with that, some of those poor community can’t handle there own group of troublesome kids and what this PM will do is just spreading the crime to the country, Dean really need to get his act together. these kids in some community just need someone to followed and what you think will happen when these belize city tugs get with them. surely dont want none in my village got my hands full with the once from aroung here.

  26. Earl Grey says:

    The PRISON FARM is the BEST ALTERNATIVE.

    There THEY CAN EARN THEIR KEEP and CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY at no cost to taxpayers.

    THEY CAN GROW FOOD TO FEED THE INCARCERATED POPULATION and also……….

    THEY CAN LEARN TO DO WOOD WORK and BUILD DESKS AND CHAIRS FOR ALL OUR SCHOOLS.

    These young men can and SHOULD BE VERY PRODUCTIVE ON A PRISON FARM.

    HARD WORK BUILDS CHARACTER……..IT’S A WIN-WIN FOR EVERYONE.

  27. wondering belizean youth says:

    i think it should be passed. if we leave it the way it is the population will eventually die out or be criminals. as i young belizean i am concerned about my country in the state it is in right now. When/if the law is passed, and the first couple of criminals are sentenced to death, there will definitely be families that find it “inhumane.” They will want to start trouble and make a considerable amount of noise about the situation. Such people will, quite frankly, just have to accept it. In a case like that, it would simply be the law. Nothing to be done about it.

  28. Coralblack says:

    Preventative Detention means that your Common Law Rights, if you had any will
    be Abrogated. NO Corpus Delicti, few people understand the scope of this policy. Welcome to the Belize version of the Patriot Act. The Devils which are does who love to to think they are the Most High infringing on people free will. Did come doing with great warth because their time of Manipulations are up. Sound the Jubilee gather the telepathic energies for these Gins. YHWH Tsezbaoth

  29. superman says:

    rope and soap

  30. The People Had Enough says:

    I said it before and I will say it again…Barrow has been pushing this law for over two years now…I said it before and I will say it again….that a tactic used by dictators is to make a situation get so out of control that the dictator would not have to push the law through, the people will beg for it….BARROW HAS WATCHED CRIME SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL, ON PURPOSE, SO THAT HE COULD PASS THIS LAW….do some history homework folks, Barrow is a very smart man and he is a man who reads the history of dictators.

  31. The People Had Enough says:

    For anyone who missed it: Dean Barrow quoted from Channel 7 “I will go to Cabinet tomorrow and I will ask that we re-introduce the provisions to change the constitution to bring into force preventative detention laws. Again I am very sorry on the last occasion, there was an outcry, we are at a point now where if all people of good sense among us don’t realize that the situation is so extreme as to demand a measure like that then I am sorry. We will simply, once Cabinet gives me the approval, we will simply have to proceed in the face of whatever opposition there is. We are going to look at how we can actually preserve the anonymity of such a person. In other words we will have to disclose the statement that’s been made but we are going to look at how we can fix the law so that we don’t have to disclose the name of the person. It will have to be all sorts of safeguards built around this to ensure that there is no violation or abuse but we have to look at that. I am at a point – I’ve said that in terms of the preventative detention, I am determine to go forward with that. I need to be certain that my Cabinet is of the same mind. Now I am going out on a limb – I for one am certainly prepared to look at removing trial by jury in the case of charges for murder. That is, as of now I am flying solo on that one but I am telling you that I will certainly ensure that that debate at least takes place although I can’t go as far as to say that as with the preventative detention provisions I am confident that we will at least take those to the national assembly.”

  32. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why would Mr Barrow remove trial by jury for murder cases?I don’t see the logic behind this man’s thinking.How would that affect the conviction rate when the authorities at the DPP are a bunch of incompitent idiots.

  33. abnerl says:

    if you look at the warrants of commitment it says to be imprison to hard labour. if you go to kolbe you can buy in there anything you want. literally anything- from the latest movie videos to the latest games for any playstation or any other brand. prisoners can get anything once they have money and kiss a@@ to the high officials. go into any office there the officers talking and the prisoners doing the work even at the files section. even i wouldnt mind going to kolbe.. Mr PM take a look at these things stop playing politics and remember what you swore to do….

  34. Enough says:

    What is it that the EU countries give Belize that they hold both the red & blue parties at ransom in using the death penality? Is is so much that we choose to put the death penality aside or ignore this formidable means of punishment and choose to live in fear for a few dollars. What is the real truth behind not hang these killers? Is it that our leaders both red & blue don’t want to loose their votes? We need to get rid of these people, they contribute nothing to society, all we do is spend our tax money in feeding them in jail. They have their three meals secure, they appear to have life better behind bars. Can’t our leaders see that some of these killings are as a result of the incompetence of the judicary, where some take their own justice? Belizeans wake up, we are loosing our freedom due to a few hundred punks. Bring pressure on our elected officials to bring back the death penality. I hope when the next election we don’t just sit back and accept a few dollar beers or watch those silly tv commercials where the red and the blue redicule each other but question these people running for office about issues or their stand about the death penality. For too long we have voted in leaders who just bs the people and get in and just full their pockets. We are a people that don’t care, imagine we sit back and see customs officials who I’m sure make a small salary owning three or four, five houses. No one has ask them how they finance those properties? If they can afford such assets are they paying the proper taxes? Where do they aquire those funds? Its time we wake up.

  35. DPP (Death Penalty Please) says:

    DEATH
    PENALTY
    PLEASE

    It doesn’t matter if we dont have a high conviction rate right now, LETS START WITH WHAT WE’VE GOT: THAT 7% CONVICTED COLD BLOODED MURDERS!

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