Is Hanging The Answer?


Recently in the media there has been much talk about resuming hanging in Jamaica. Many think that this will be a deterrent to the high crime wave that has engulfed the country. Are we sure that hanging is the answer? Will it really stop individuals from committing some of the heinous crimes that have been committed?

How interesting that our guide to life, the bible, can be used to justify any action in which we may want to indulge, thus it is now being used to justify hanging. This is why the scriptures in St. John 6:45 declares, “It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God.” And Isaiah 28:10 declares “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line, here a little and there a little.” This means that we cannot draw reference to just one scripture in the bible to prove our point and not look at all the other precepts on the topic.

Deuteronomy 19:21 says, “And your eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Jesus quoting from this very scripture in St. Matthew 5:39-45 says, “But I say to you, that you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat; let him have your cloak also. And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away. You have heard that it has been said; you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” The new commandment that Jesus gives us speaks of a more excellent way. He came from glory and endured death for us.

We do not in any way condone the actions of those who are doing anything outside of the commandments of God. It is the commandments of God which teach us the rules for righteous living in this world. We are now reaping the consequences of something we started a long time ago. We began to sow in the minds of our people that the commandments of God are done away with. So if one is free to kill and steal and do as one pleases, then here we are. Nevertheless, we need to provide alternatives for these individuals who are involved in these crimes. The saying, “the devil finds work for idle hands” is a true saying. We must try to find jobs and gainful employment for these individuals. Most people who have enough to eat and to feed their families, buy clothes and have the basic necessities of life do not get into criminal activities. Yes, we have exceptions, but for the most part, people who are content are not involved in crime. There is no proof that hanging will stem the crime wave. We must reach our children now. Everyone is not academically inclined, so we must see where their abilities lie and try to get them in the areas where they will excel. We also have to teach our people how to be content. Another lesson that is lost on society is that vengeance belongs to God. Retribution does not work. It only begins a cycle that never ends. Jesus admonished us to leave all vengeance to Him He will take care of it.