WWJD? Letter To Verna St. Rose

Dear Verna,

If you were a person whose sense of worth rested heavily upon the approval of the crowd, you would have been in the depths of despair at the hostility which was directed at you because of your stance on capital punishment. Although I am convinced that you are not such a person, I feel that I am required to extend my support to you by letting you know that there are other Trinbagonians who share your convictions.

As Christians, we need not look to the beliefs of other religions to influence whether or not we should support state-sanctioned murder. As a matter of fact, it might be a mistake to look even to other persons who profess to be Christians to decide what is right or wrong. According to the SPIRIT of Christ as professed in the New Testament, we are called to believe that all men are equally loved in the eyes of God. So Verna, when I join you in your protest, I join you on behalf of ALL "criminals" whether they be Hindu, Muslim, Jew or Christian. God alone gives life and to God alone must we leave the power to take life.

Most so-called Christians, even those who are perpetually drunk on God, are in bed with the forces that Christ would have commanded to get behind Him. They support, some by active participation and others by their silence, the barbarity of capitalism and rampant consumerism, environmental destruction, unjust wars, corruption in high and low places and the state-sanctioned murder which is the death penalty. So it should come as no surprise that there are many Christians among those who are now demanding an eye for an eye. They have become so skilled at ignoring the uncomfortable truths proclaimed by The Christ that they have no difficulty in using the Bible to find justification for their bloodlust and need for vengeance. The Christ who came to proclaim the GOOD NEWS of God's love for us and the love that we should have for each other, would never have called for capital punishment. Even the Catholic Church has washed its hands and attempts to distance itself by leaving the dirty business to the State.

Verna, do not feel alone. The Christ himself was a convicted "criminal" who was sentenced to death by crucifixion and yet, if He were here today in the flesh, I feel that He would have come forward to stand at your side, to face again the unchanging bloodthirsty mob. He would have begged for the lives of the worst criminals. He would have asked for restorative justice for both the victims AND the aggressors.

So walk away if you have to Verna. There will be NO shame in that denial. It is better to deny the corruption of the world than the voice of your conscience. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" It is better to stand on principle rather than partisanship. Perhaps if more people in the previous administration had walked away instead of putting the health of the party before that of their souls and the man on the street, the PNM would not have fallen into its present state and the country along with it.

As for the lynch mob, if allowed, they would gladly run out into the streets to drag the sacrificial brutes out of their homes. They will not, however, pull the killers in high places from the comforts of their ill-gotten gains. They will go for the easy targets, the bottom feeders who lack the sophistication to murder by proxy, the brutalized commoners who act out the violence which has been shown to them by their families and the society, the uncouth, blue collar criminals who continue to exist mainly because the platinum collar thugs provide the corrupt and corrupting environment in which they feel free to operate. And when the day comes, as it surely will, that it is revealed that innocent men were also hanged, they will simply shrug it off as collateral damage.

The research has shown that capital punishment does NOT deter serious crimes like murder, for example. The reasons why some people commit murder - insanity, passion and cold-blooded strategy, are not removed by the fear of capital punishment. In addition, no research is needed to prove that vengefully taking the life of a murderer will NOT bring back the life of the murdered. Knowing all this, we can only conclude that it is a subhuman, barbaric and lazy society that turns to capital punishment as a first resort.

I do not think for one second that you are suggesting that convicted murderers should walk free. They should expect to pay in some way for their horrific crimes and maybe life imprisonment without possibility of parole might be the only alternative for persons who defy all attempts of rehabilitation and redemption. There should be no talk about the expense to the state of incarceration as the imprisoned can be made to work to support themselves AND also pay compulsory compensation to their victims' families.

Minister Jack Warner once claimed that he had not yet consulted with the Prime Minister on the matter. I wanted to suggest to him that a more important consultation should have been arranged with his conscience. I can only assume that he must have been given the green light there, because he has continued happily to exercise his God-given free will to support murder.

Verna, in all matters, continue to walk with a strong and clear conscience. You will find that the approbation that will come your way, while not as showy and profuse as that afforded the crowd -pleasers, will be truer and longer-lived...unto the heavens in fact.

Continue in peace.

Trinis Who Think Twice...Including About Capital Punishment.

Archie, Ivor [Chief Justice]

CJ: No evidence hangings will reduce crime. By Denyse Renne | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Sep 17, 2010 at 12:47

Baldeosingh, Kevin
The law is my shepherd. By Kevin Baldeosingh | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Sep 2, 2010 at 11:34 PM ECT

Boland, Rawle
To hang or not to hang?
By Rawle Boland | Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday | Tuesday, August 24 2010

Cadiz, Stephen
Cadiz: Hanging not the way. Trinidad & Tobago Express | Aug 29, 2010

Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ)
Hanging not the cure. | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Jul 17, 2010

David, Jean
Blood-thirsty Govt. By Jean David, Trinidad & Tobago Express | Sep 3, 2010

Instead we get a violent reaction. By Jean David | Trinidad and Tobago Guardian | 5 Sep 2010

Daly, Martin
The fallacy about hanging. By Martin Daly | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Jul 18, 2010

Dolsingh, Bindra
Dolsingh: Hanging alone cannot stop crime.
By Denyse Renne | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Jul 26, 2010

Kwabena, Roi
A Job For The Hangman [Poem]

Lucie-Smith, William
Death penalty red herring again. By William Lucie-Smith, Trinidad & Tobago Express | Aug 25, 2010

Ramsaroop, M.
What would Christ say? Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday | Saturday, August 28 2010

St Rose-Greaves, Verna
DON'T HANG THEM By Kim Boodram. Trinidad & Tobago Express | Jul 19, 20http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif10

Verna: I will walk if hangings resume
By Leah Sorias | Trinidad and Tobago Guardian | 20 Jul 2010

Cries for blood being heard. By Verna St Rose Greaves, Trinidad & Tobago Express | Aug 27, 2010

Shah, Raffique
Nightmare at Woodford Square. By Raffique Shah | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Sep 4, 2010.

Shand, Everard A.

Why hang...when we didn't help? Trinidad & Tobago Express | Aug 20, 2010

Singh, V.
Hanging is gruesome and so barbaric. Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday | Wednesday, October 6 2010.
Spence, John
Violence begets violence.
By John Spence | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Jul 15, 2010

Thompson-Ahye, Hazel
Do we have moral authority to hang?
By Hazel Thompson-Ahye | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Aug 24, 2010

T&T Humanist Society
Hanging deters crime? Evidence to contrary.
Trinidad and Tobago Guardian | 13 Jul 2010

Williams, Michael J.
Is capital punishment political deception?
By Michael J. Williams | Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday | Tuesday, August 24 2010


International Human Rights Organisations
Don't start hanging.
By Joel Julien | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Jul 24, 2010

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
Foreign groups blocking hangings.
By Denyse Renne | Trinidad & Tobago Express | Jul 25, 2010

A Note From The Gull

Thank you, Paul Robeson, for taking me, along with the Christian faction of the lynch mob, to church.

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!