NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On the heels of the country’s latest homicide, President of the Bahamas Christian Council, Bishop Delton Fernander, on Thursday expressed his stance on capital punishment, calling for the eradication of hanging and replacing it with lethal injection.
“As you know, the Council is divided on the conversation of hanging, however I speak as the President that we should remove hanging and add lethal injection,” Bishop Fernander told Eyewitness News. “It is a more humane way to deliver the same penalty, [but] obviously it is only conversation and it’s in the States hands, but there must be action.”
Bishop Fernander said there must be a push to ensure that there are more serious consequences for certain crimes, which would lead to a more progressive and proactive country and church.
“Criminals must know that when you take [the lives of] fathers or mothers or productive citizens in our society there will be a consequence to your action, rather than eating and having a good time in jail,” Fernander said.
“As a Council, we are being more proactive and engaging in some areas that we have not engaged in. It lends itself to conversation, but we are willing to have that conversation.”
The BBC president also admitted that there is division amongst him and some of the other members of the Council when it comes to his views on capital punishment. He noted, however, that the Council’s stance on capital punishment will be further discussed at a march scheduled for this Saturday, held under the theme, “Operation Restoration”.
Meanwhile Attorney General Carl Bethel declared in a recent interview that the death penalty “remains a part of Bahamian law and the country’s position on the penalty is not likely to change anytime soon.”
David Mitchell was the last convicted murderer to be hanged in The Bahamas in 2000.
According to an American Civil Unions online article there is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment
The death penalty is legal in 29 states in the United States, including popular states like Georgia, Texas, California, and Florida but is illegal in 21 states including New York, Illinois, Washington State and Iowa.