Port-Of Spain: Roman Catholic Church wants swift justice for Shannon Banfield

CMC – The head of the Roman Catholic Church here, Archbishop Joseph Harris, is maintaining that the church is against the imposition of the death penalty, saying there could be no good reason for killing someone.

Speaking on a radio station here after a Roman Catholic priest, Father Ian Taylor, had earlier this week advocated the need to impose the death penalty in a bid to stem the rising murder rate here, Archbishop Harris said “Pope Francis has said…it (death penalty) is an offence against human dignity and the values of life and therefore it is in admissible.

“There have always been people who have said that the death penalty…should be reactivated. Having said that the question still becomes what good does it do”.

Father Taylor had over the last weekend called for the death penalty to be swiftly reinstated, saying that the country may never come to terms with the murder earlier this month of bank employee Shannon Banfield, whose body was found in a warehouse in a store in the heart of the capital.

The priest said that the country was in a state and called for Banfield’s killers to face the hangman as soon as possible.

So far this year, 444 people have been murdered here and Banfield was laid to rest on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Frais Al-Rawi said that that the death penalty remains on the law books here and that it is “to be applied for murder and we certainly intend to apply the law and it is something that I have been tracking for one year straight”.

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