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Jamaica: More executions will not reduce crime

Jamaica’s crime epidemic must be solved with reforms to the police and the justice system, not with more death, said Amnesty International after the Jamaican House of Representatives voted a motion to retain the death penalty.

Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International, Kerrie Howard, said:

“Supporting the death penalty to tackle Jamaica’s spiralling violence and crime is like trying to put out a fire with petrol. In order to put that fire out, its root causes need to be tackled.”

Amnesty International called on the Jamaican government to prioritise policy changes to reduce crime and convert these changes into effective action.

These include implementing recommendations from the strategic review of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Justice Sector Reform Review and expediting the passage of legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate police abuses and an Office of Coroner to examine alleged police killings.

Kerrie Howard said:

"We all agree that crime is an issue that must urgently be addressed. However, executions offer only an illusion of effective action being taken and do nothing to lessen suffering in Jamaican society."

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