Caribbean murderer executed in HM Prison

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The Independent US

The island of St Kitts and Nevis today hanged a convicted murderer, the English-speaking Caribbean's first execution in nearly a decade.

Charles Elroy Laplace was sentenced to death in February 2006 for the 2004 murder of his wife.

He was hanged inside the walls of Her Majesty's Prison in Basseterre in the Commonwealth country.

Soaring crime has led many islanders to demand the resumption of executions in the Caribbean.



No-one had been executed in the region outside Cuba since the Bahamas hanged a convicted killer in 2000.

The execution order against Laplace was approved by the governor general of St Kitts and Nevis, where eight others remain on death row.

Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said earlier this month that he is alarmed by rising crime and called on parents to teach their children "what is right from wrong."

At least 22 people have been killed this year in shootings and stabbings in the twin-island federation of nearly 40,000 people, up from 17 killings in 2007.

Opponents of capital punishment say governments should focus instead on reducing poverty and corruption.

In Jamaica, where the parliament recently voted to affirm the death penalty, Amnesty International responded by calling on the government to reform its justice system and set up an independent commission to investigate police abuses.

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