Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association

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"No hangings in my name, please"

Veronica Collens • 17 June 2005 • 304 words
Published in Express "letter of the day" and Gaurdian

Violence, apparently, is now the order of the day. We have violence on the streets, violence on the roads, violence in schools, violence in homes, violence in fetes and now, to cap it all, violence in the House. What’s that dove doing up there?

According to my dictionary, violence is: “vehemence ... highly excited feeling ... intimidation ... the illegal use of physical force.” And that definitely seems to fit some of the people in the House.

Whilst violence will always be with us, I do not expect it from my leadership. What I do expect from my leadership is more enlightened solutions rather than perpetuating the culture of violence by adding to it.

What is wrong with us that we have to resort to so much violence? Who or what should we blame it on? Or would it be better not to place blame or seek revenge but to have compassion and to love, educate, empower and protect our citizens?

There are bound to be some people who fall through the cracks—there are many nasty cracks in life and every society has them. But should we not take responsibility for them and analyse why we failed and do better in future?

Thank goodness we have some rational, hardworking lawyers on board. They have my heartfelt gratitude for all that they are doing to stem the hangings. And there are a lot of other humane people (even victims of crime) speaking out against capital punishment.

Every time someone is hanged I feel very sad and ashamed, even guilty, that I didn’t speak out to try and stop it. So I’m saying it now: not in my name.

And, for the record, I don’t vote for people who kill. Neither do my friends and family.

Fright up!

Veronica Collens, Cascade

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