Death on the island
The tragic murder of the British newlywed couple, Ben and Catherine Mullany, honeymooning on the romantic island of Antigua three years ago, and sent outrage and shock across both islands. Three years on, and news of the conviction of two men found guilty of killing the couple has once again dominated headlines in both Britain and Antigua. It comes as no surprise that the family of Ben and Catherine Mullany speak of their “relief” at the news of the recent convictions of 23-year-old Kaniel Martin, 23 and 20-year-old Avie Howell. They also highlight the “senseless nature” of the couple’s deaths and the “total disregard shown for human life”. It’s a shame therefore that much discussion has rested around the prospect of the death penalty for the two convicted murderers, particularly given that this is a penalty which has been outlawed in the UK for decades. Telegraph.co.uk reports that no one has been executed since 1991 in Antigua so it would be a significant move if the death sentence were to be actually carried out. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of life, is always cruel and unnecessary, it doesn’t deter crime, and it’s irreversible. Justice must be served. But executing others is not the best way to deliver such justice. The criminal justice system should not be a service to provide revenge or retribution.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.