Opt-Out Capital Punishment-Do you wish to see your murderer live or die?

Over the pass couple weeks the debate over capital punishment has been raging about its effectiveness, purpose and even whether or not it has a place in Jamaica’s criminal justice system. With all that has been said by both supporters of hanging and those who oppose such a punishment I found I very interesting proposal on the internet about an “opt-out” capital punishment option.

Here is how it works. Assuming that capital punishment is retained and practice by Jamaica. Those opposing such a punishment should have a right to opt-out his/her murderer being hanged.

How would this work?, At the appropriate age all Jamaican citizens who applies for a drivers license, passport will have to indicate in the application of either whether or not they wish the state to administer the maximum punishment possible under the law in the event they become a murder victim.

This can even be displayed on drivers’ licenses or any other state issued identification “If I am killed I do not wish for the death penalty to be imposed”. If the individual however supports the death penalty then they may indicate “If I am killed I wish for the maximum penalty allowed under the law”.

In this case the victim has a voice. This provides an opportunity for the victim wishes to be carried out.

For children not of legal age or other mentally retarded individuals the state with the help of a jury in the course of normal the justice system will determine punishment based on a trial in court where it will be determine based on the heinousness of the crime say whether or not the death penalty should apply.

In the case of multiple homicides. If one victim opt for capital punishment and the second victim opt out of capital punishment then sentencing should run concurrently. Therefore if the condemned individual is found guilty for both crimes then the life sentence would apply for the first victim however capital punishment would still be applicable because it run concurrently, in this case capital punishment takes president.

Now for the sake of argument let us assume that the Jamaican Government has amended the Offences of the Persons Act to include such a stature. You are renewing your drivers’ license, updating your National ID and you must complete a form in which you should indicate you personal choice.

This proposal makes one think of their own morality as it relates to ones self and the death penalty. In this scenario no longer is the victim isolated as “them”, “statistics” or a footnote on the 7 o clock news.

Now you can choose, in the event that you are murder victim do you with to opt for capital punishment, opt out of capital punishment , send the offender a Christmas card, a cash advance loan and just forget about it.

In all seriousness though take the poll let me know what you think.


~ by RB on December 6, 2008.

One Response to “Opt-Out Capital Punishment-Do you wish to see your murderer live or die?”

  1. cXhVBRj9e1KmV

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