THE BLOODSHED in this country is the result of a spiritual problem, not a physical one, and therefore we need to abide by God’s laws in order to address it.
This was the justification used by Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, Rodger Samuel, as he yesterday called for the resumption of hangings in this country.
“God instituted creation laws that if a man murdered a person and is found guilty he should not live. If a man shed a man’s blood then by man shall his blood be shed,” Samuel told the Express yesterday.
It is recorded in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible that the Lord told Moses “anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death”.
Samuel said we must return to this.
“It is time we abide by God’s laws,” Samuel said.
Samuel has been a pastor for over 20 years. He is currently the senior pastor of the Christian Restoration Centre in Arima.
The year 2014 has got off to a bloody start in Trinidad and Tobago with 16 murders in six days.
The murder toll for 2013 ended with 407 people killed, according to an Express tally.
Samuel said we have been “too lenient” and capital punishment, which is still the law, must be reinstituted to deal with the murders.
“We have to reach the state in this country where we must say ‘no more’. We have to decide and determine exactly how we are going to approach the crime in this country, not just on the standpoint we have been approaching it but to understand that in order for people to live at peace and that the rights of people be not infringed something has to be done,” Samuel said.
Samuel said people have become animals.
“What kind of human walks into someone’s home and chops a family to death. What kind of human kills a child and stuffs her in a barrel inside the same room. What type of society are we dealing with?” Samuel said.
Samuel said he believes many citizens in this country would agree with his call for hangings to resumed.
“Citizens are fed up by what is going on. Citizens need to demand that something is done,” Samuel said.
In 2011 the People Partnership Government proposed the Constitution (Amendment) (Capital Offences) Bill 2011.
The Opposition People’s National Movement voted against the “Hanging Bill”.
“This conversation must begin again. We can come up with all the reasons to justify human rights but at the end of the day when a person has gone through all the processes of trying to save himself and is still found guilty then the law of God and creation must be upheld,” Samuel said.
The last set of executions to be carried out in Trinidad and Tobago were those of Anthony Briggs and Wenceslaus James on July 28, 1999.