More calls for resumption of hanging | Lead Stories – Jamaica Gleaner

AMID PUBLIC outrage over the brutal and callous throat-slashing murder of eight-year-old Danielle Rowe, members of the entertainment fraternity yesterday supported a call for the Government to resume hanging to punish child killers.
The Braeton Primary School student was abducted last Thursday outside her school in St Catherine and was found with her throat slashed in Vineyard Town, in East Kingston. She succumbed two days later at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
“I am still saying go back to capital punishment, go back to hanging because these monsters dem a coward, dem fraid to die and dem a snatch people’s life like it’s nothing,” Carlene Smith, popularly known as Dancehall Queen Carlene, advocated.
“You going to imprison some of them, I am saying make it be a 100 per cent sure before you hang dem but bring it back, just the thought of it might make them feel afraid,” she added.
“Enough is enough,” Razor B chimed in.
Smith, supported by entertainers Tanya Stephens and Razor B, was among a small group of persons who had turned up at Emancipation Park in Kingston to join the demonstration dubbed ‘Operation Stop the Violence against Children and People’. The protest was organised by the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS).
Agreeing with Stephens that citizens must acknowledge that they too have a role to play in protecting the nation’s children, Smith stressed that the business of keeping the children safe must not be left only up to the Government and the security forces.
“We are saying too many children are being murdered and this one comes now to a different level, it’s way too much. Who slashes an eight-year-old’s throat, who the hell does that? A coward, a punk, a faeces! As I have heard Danielle is the eighth child that has been murdered since the start of the year. Who is accepting this? Why we are accepting this, Jamaica?” she challenged.
President of the Black Caucus Movement, Al July, said the incident which “has shook up the soul and consciousness of the people” demonstrates the callousness of the nation.
He stressed that Jamaica needs to return to the era when the village looked after the children.
“Nowadays what we find is that nobody is concerned about the children,” he said, adding that technology is being used to grow the children.
July noted that there was too much corruption and lawlessness in the nation and that the society needs to change its direction.
Robert Finzi Smith, spokesman for the Parents’ Alliance Jamaica, said the incident marks the tipping point.
“Too many things happen initially that we call it a dastardly act, nine days later we move on to the next dastardly act, in the meantime, the first one doesn’t get solved, we lose attention because it is not sexy anymore and we totally forget that a child was affected,” Smith argued.
“Her name has to stand for something,” he added, sharing that the group is working on some protocols which will be named the ‘Rowe Protocols’, in her honour.
In the meantime, TODDS’ president, Egerton Newman, said it was important for his organisation to lead the charge against what is happening in society, as his 37,000 members are also parents and it is a matter which is concerning for all.
“We believe as the transport sector we should take the first step, we should not wait on Government or the police to take the first step to address this problem or arrest this problem,” said Newman.
“We think as the transport sector we are in every nook and cranny of this country, anywhere you go you see a taximan or a busman and we can find the culprit. We are a strong arm of 37, 000 and we are going to lend our support to reduce violence against children and our people,” he added.
Newman said he will be encouraging all of his members to install dash cameras.
“We are carrying some of these criminals and we don’t know, that is why 40 of our men have been killed in the sector since the start of the year, so that’s why we are starting with our sector,” he said.
According to him, a committee will be convened to look at other measures that can assist.
Newman, in the meantime, is urging children and commuters to be vigilant when boarding taxis and to utilise taxi stands and to also use the Travel Pal Safety App to verify whether the vehicle is licensed by the Transport Authority.
tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com
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