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Friday, February 11

Crime in the Caribbean: In the shadow of the gallows |

The Economist: "“WE NEED the death penalty…that is the word of God,” said Benjamin Agard, a Pentecostal pastor, in his funeral sermon last month for Cecil Carrington, a retired police officer shot dead by bandits at the small hotel he owned on Trinidad’s windswept east coast. The funeral came a fortnight after Trinidad and Tobago’s prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, promised to remove legal obstacles to hanging, offering a parliamentary debate on February 18th.

Her stance is popular across the English-speaking Caribbean, where murder rates have soared since the 1990s. Her country suffered 472 killings last year—close to 5% of all deaths. In 1999 there were just 93. Almost everyone can name a friend or relative who has met a violent end. Last year’s murder rate, of 36 per 100,000 people, was seven times that in the United States and 30 times that of Britain. But it trailed Jamaica (53), Belize (42) and tiny St Kitts-Nevis (40).
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