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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

Since Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s recent statements expressing support for the use of capital punishment in severe cases, members of the general public have been engaged in intense discussions regarding the enforcement of the death penalty in Dominica.

In a recent cabinet–hosted press conference at the Financial Centre last week, Prime Minister Skerrit declared that his government had no intention on removing death penalty legislation from the law books of the state.

Prime Minister Skerrit pointed to the courts’ duty in instituting the full extent of punishment on convicted murderers and repeat criminals.


  • Should the government go ahead and enforce capital punishment in Dominica?
  • And do you think enforcing the death penalty will curb the level violence?

Have your say in the comments below.

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Comment by Suki
2009-02-06 11:38:14

For me it is very simple – if we believe that killing/murder is wrong, then it is wrong for the state as well. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. I don’t think I am going out on a limb by saying that criminals do not believe they will get caught. I don’t think I am going out on a limb by saying that people who kill in the “heat of passion” are not thinking about the death penalty either. That being said, it does not seem to be the deterrent that people would want it to be. If thou shall not kill – then the state should not kill. I do present this from the viewpoint of someone who has had a family member horrifically murdered and I realize no matter how angry or how unfair the crime was, I can not bring my aunt back – perhaps the perpetrator will find some way to contribute to life mitigating what he so carelessly took away.

Comment by pete
2009-02-06 14:29:54

Sorry to hear about your experience, Suki. I am with you on alternatives to the death penalty/capital punishment. I don’t think the ultimate punishment is ever a deterrent, and the court usually drags out the process anyway. Also, many crimes of this nature are done in the heat of the moment, so perpetrators are not thinking of consequences at all…I think the challenge in some societies and economies is in having acceptable standards and resources aimed at rehabilitation or even long term incaceration. The current prison system is also over crowded and otherwise inadequate regarding humane treatment and rehabilitation needs. Likewise the justice system must address the special needs of children regarding crime and rehabilitation. And of course we have to think about how we as a society can influence kids in a positive manner as criminals are not born that way. Yes, in the big picture there is much to be attended to and capital punishment is no majic bullet…just my two cents

Comment by Kelvin
2009-03-20 10:49:57

I totally agree with the prime minister, as long as the correct person have been convicted then of the murders then the should be executed. Dominica,s population is shrinking as the populations grows older. We canot afford to be losing young people to any kind of violence. some of these people who killed ca never be change as with every thing some species have to be extinct to allowed others to florish.

Comment by Rc
2009-10-06 14:03:47

The world has changed, Dominica adapting much of that change with it. The streets are dirty with filth, drugs, violence, etc. In order to solve a problem, we need not to address the direct issue but the issue that has started these. The root of most of our problems stem from drug abuse ans sale of drugs, media and music influence. Capital punishment should be enforced but not to the full extend. People just don’t seem to care anymore. They kill and then kill themselves. Do you think the death penalty will threaten such people? We need to focus on the nurturing of our young people and cut away a little of their freedom and help them to grow. The youths of today are all perishing because no one took a stand to adjust the direction of their younger lives now we want to blame them. Blame those politicians and the state who in the first place did not provide necessities for them while growing up making them feel worthless while they pass driving their Nissan frontier and then polish this by buying bread for two people. I say teach a man to fish rather than give him a fish. If opportunities are present a lot of the violence will drop. it will not make Dominica change instantly, but a step in sure process. Don’t think i’m against the government. I’m neutral and only look for country’s well being. There are tonnes of things that need to change and we all must help or it will not work out how we really wish.

Thank you

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