Jamaica to Abolish Slavery-Era Flogging Law

Repeating Islands

Jamaica’s justice ministry has said that it is preparing to abolish a slavery-era law allowing flogging and whipping as means of punishing prisoners. Although the article states that “the punishment hasn’t been ordered by a court since 2004, but the statutes remain in the island’s penal code,” I would like to re-state that: the punishment was ordered by a court as recently as 2004! It was administered “with strokes from a tamarind-tree switch or a cat o’nine tails, a whip made of nine, knotted cords.” (Really? An anachronism indeed. . .) See excerpts below:

Justice Minister Mark Golding says the “degrading” punishment is an anachronism which violates Jamaica’s international obligations and is preventing Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s government from ratifying the U.N. convention against torture. “The time has come to regularize this situation by getting these colonial-era laws off our books once and for all,” Golding said in a…

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