Hang Dem High!

As the judge read the sentence, a visibly trembling Saddam Hussein defiantly shouted over the unrelenting voice of "Justice". He repeated, among other things, “God is great!” There was something about the spirit behind his dry-eyed tirade that I silently applauded. Apart from that quiet satisfaction, it was no time for jubilation for me. Man has no right to murder and I found no difference between what that judge was handing down in that court and what Saddam Hussein had been accused of doing.

In response to Mr. Hussein’s holding up the Qur’an and acclaiming the greatness of his God, the commentator noted with ill-disguised sarcasm that Saddam Hussein had only found religion AFTER his capture. I wondered at that moment if that commentator had realized the implications of his statement. What a refreshing change, I thought. Saddam Hussein had not been simultaneously` murderous AND religious. We can think of some of these religious, monumental hypocrites who continue to sanction even worse crimes against humanity and are still running around free.

I read somewhere that 90% of the population here in Trinidad and Tobago supports the death penalty, so I assume that our learning of this sentence must not have triggered as much as a spike in our collective mental or cardiac activity. We are more suspicious of the consequences of compassion than we are about the probability that we are very wrong to justify executions. We are satisfied to hang the by-products of our failure rather than the system that perpetuates the cycle of violence. See Mr. Kwabena’s plea for real justice in his A Job For The Hangman

I visited recently the website of the Canadian Coalition Against The Death Penalty to read once again one of the letters written by death row prisoner Stephen Eversley before his death in June 1999. I tried to read between the lines to find the demon who was beyond redemption. All I felt was intense sadness and loneliness – his, because he was alone and a desperate, condemned man and mine because I had separated myself from his ordeal and from those of all the other persons awaiting the same fate or about to commit crimes which will bring them to that place.

...."The rain is falling right now and its cold. I closing off now, and I going to brush my teeth, say my prayers, and try to get some sleep. Haven't slept for the day. Thanks again. Please write soon will you. Sincerely,
"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!