Zòwèy a tè (ear to the ground): Do you support the death penalty?

With the recent conviction of Rodman Moses Lewis for the murder of Tricia Riviere on November 3, 2015, and the prosecution seeking the death penalty in the matter, many were shocked to find out the such law still existed on the statute books of Dominica.

The death penalty has been applied only once since Dominica attained independence from the United Kingdom.

It was mandatory then, but in recent times the courts have ruled that the death penalty can only be applied in the worst of cases.

Now, convicted murderer Lewis could become the second person since independence to be executed for his crime. Dominica News Online (DNO) sought public opinion on the death penalty in Dominica and whether or not it should still be used in our judicial system?

A number of people were randomly approached and here are some of the responses we got from those willing to speak to us:

Allen (Salisbury): “As a Christian nation, I think the death penalty should be removed from the books in Dominica. Thou shall not kill the good book says and besides, I believe death is too good of a penalty for some of these criminals. Let them live with their guilt for the rest of their lives.”

Baptiste (Eggleston: “The bible says that whoever takes the life of another man so shall his life be taken from him. Too many people thinking before they get any problem with another person is kill. We need to set examples in Dominica and with the case of Rodman, it is the perfect example. So I am all for it in this situation.”

Marie (Belles): “I am all for the death penalty. These people can’t just kill others and go Stockfarm and get fat on taxpayers’ money. We have other important things which our money can be invested in than feeding murders.”

Jillian (Canefield): “This is one of the few times I will applaud the judicial system in Dominica. I don’t know the reason why it was not practiced in all these years but I’m happy that it was brought back up. I also don’t think the death penalty should be for only murders but for rapists. These people destroy their victims’ lives so I believe they are a nuisance to society and should be sentenced to death as well.”

Rasta (Roseau): “I don’t believe in the death penalty. Though jury may find someone guilty of murder, taking a life is never the right thing to do because you are  doing exactly what you are punishing that person for doing. I am not for it at all. A lifetime in prison is a better option.”

Donna (Mahaut): “What exactly killing these people going to do for the family of the murder victim? They have already undergone the trauma and loss which no one should minimize. However, executions do not help these people heal nor do they end their pain. In most cases death is the easy way out. Leave him in prison let him suffer the consequences for the rest of his life.”

Latoya (Kingshill): “I certainly do believe that we should start making examples. They should also do the same to many of the other people at the prision who are in there for murder and rape.”

Kian (Goodwill): “Seems like the death penalty in Dominica is only randomly applied. So many other persons  have committed murder yet they were never sentenced to death, why Rodman though? What good for the goose should be good for the gander. I’m not saying he should be set free but at least not killed.”

Leslie (Fondcole): “If someone murders someone else, they have given up their human rights, including the one to stay alive themselves. The punishment should fit the crime. If you have killed someone, you should be killed too.”

Dublin (Soufriere): “The death penalty goes against our most basic human right – the right to life.”

Rhonda (Portsmouth): “This guy is heartless and from all of what I read he showed no remorse. So for people like that who waste the court time, don’t apologise to the family and still maintain they innocent, they deserve to die. We know in Dominica our laws are slack,  if they don’t kill him he will be out soon and who’s to tell who again this young man won’t kill.”

Ian (Roseau): “While many are calling for the death penalty, it may very well be that the creator has forgiven him. We cannot  judge someone for taking someone’s life  but want to do the same. All murder is murder.”

Randy (Mero): “So I have to work all my life, get up every day tired, taken loan to fed myself and my family only to fed hardcore criminals like this for the rest of their life? These people commit their crimes and society has to pay for them to be well fed and have a roof over their head. Once you take a life yours should be taken instead of you eating and sleeping on people account.”

Judith (Newtown): “Wrong cannot be corrected with wrong. In most cases these people pray for death to escape their guilt so I would leave them suffer in the cell, death is an easy way out.”

Curvin (Calibishie): “The bible says thou shall not kill. The person that kills him is just as guilty as him for taking a life. There should be no death penalty. Let God be the judge.”

Francis (Salsibury): “i don’t think that’s the image we want to send out to the world. Life in prison is a better sentence than murder.”

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  1. bigger
    November 23, 2020

    I understand the murder was committed in the presence of his child what a wicked man. This child will need a lot of counselling

  2. Nkrumah Kwame
    November 23, 2020

    As an absolute democrat, I agree that everyone is entitled to express his/her opinion on any and every matter, even if I disagree with said.
    However, I have a couple of questions
    H for those arguing against the death penalty in this case: why is it that the victim (Riviere) seems to be presented as the aggressor? The aggressor, Moses, has murdered this young woman, the mother of his son in a most horrendous manner and is yet to express any remorse. Would you be issuing these comments if it were your daughter, if the shoe were on the other foot?

  3. our Sisserou laying Eggs
    November 22, 2020

    I support the death penalty. And i also support surgical castration for rapists and pedophiles. I also believe that the conditions in jail are too nice for certain offenders. they should have a terrible experience there so they’d never want to go back. question is, what form of death penalty are we going to use? hanging? beheading? drowning, firing squad? lethal injection? laws are laws. and people should be afraid of breaking the law because of the repercussions that follow. our laws are too slack.

    ADMIN: The Death penalty is carried out by hanging in Dominica.

  4. Across the board
    November 21, 2020

    What Rodman did to this young lady, and still arrogantly denying it after all the evidence, is very aggravating. The victim’s family must be feeling outraged and vengeful. He needs to be punished strongly but I am against the death penalty unless someone is a threat to everyone else in the society.

    We all experienced what lock down and curfew felt like during the past 11 months, although we had our freedom within our homes and yards to sleep, bathe, move about as we pleased. But imagine what it is like not having any freedom and being in permanent lock down and curfew until one’s natural death. Then, add working hard for nothing: No salary, no entertainment, no hope that it will be over soon.

    That is what life imprisonment, without parole, should be like and the ultimate punishment that such a crime should attract.

    Thanks to DNO and the Sun for keeping the reading public well informed of the proceedings.

    Prayers for the judge. May God give her wisdom to do her part.

  5. Across the board
    November 21, 2020

    As Kian (Goodwill) said above: “Seems like the death penalty in Dominica is only randomly applied. So many other persons have committed murder yet they were never sentenced to death, why Rodman though? What good for the goose should be good for the gander. I’m not saying he should be set free but at least not killed.”

    I agree. Punishment for these crimes should be done across the board, as in Texas. It cannot be fair that some people are charged for murder but are never tried. And some are never even charged, in spite of alleged evidence linking them to the crime. They walk around with all their freedom, even having babies, going to college, having fun, while the victim is rotting and the bereaved family and friends, devastated. So, this Rodman guy should not be a fall guy for all the others who did not go through the trial process as he did. His case just shows that when all parties to justice do their work without fear or favour, the society is better off for it.

  6. J.John-Charles
    November 21, 2020

    Since God, and God alone is the giver of life, it would be more appropriate to seek His thoughts on this subject.
    We have those who claimed to be experts, telling us
    “The death penalty does not discourage people from committing murder.” Whereas on the other hand the All Wise God is saying,
    ” Whoever sheds man blood by man (governing authority) shall his blood be shed.”
    In and another place in the good book, God said by getting rid of this murderer, others will be afraid. So I rather be wrong with God Almighty, than to be right with puny man.
    You will hear some people say when they have a problem with someone,
    “I am just killing you, and take two years in prison.”
    They will not say “And be hanged.”
    The good news is, this murderer can still be in heaven after execution. Remember the criminal on the cross with Christ, who told the other criminal
    “We deserve our punishment. He then turned to Christ and said “Lord remember me.”
    Jesus ans.Today u will be with me…

  7. Gods child
    November 21, 2020

    Justice seems to be very selective here. In no way am I condoning this crime but there have been and the murderers are out on bail. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.

  8. Just Thinking
    November 21, 2020

    In my opinion this is what you call a dead cat subject,Deliberately pronounced by the prosecution to distract from the abysmal state of Dominica
    Proof that has been the full discussion all day.
    Never mind COVID,poverty,corruption,
    How many murders in the island in the last two years?
    Was the death penalty ever brought to the attention of this discussion?
    Enough said.

  9. November 21, 2020

    When the Israelites walked through the Wilderness, God gave them a law that should someone kill a member their family that family stone stone that person to death–that was the way of the death penalty at the time.

    But when He gave Moses the 10 commandments on behalf of the people, the commandment: “Thou shall not kill” was part of it. However, up to the time when Jesus walked the Earth people still disregarded the Law, that was why He said: “Those who live by the sword shall died by the sword”

    That kind of sword that Rodman Moses Lewis used against Tricia, just because she wouldn’t let him have his way in her, is far more destructive and painful than the strike of a sword. If the Law does not implement the death penalty against that man–Dominicans will never stop murdering people the way they are doing it now.

    • November 21, 2020

      And those who are saying the life sentence is better for him than life in prison, there is no way! As long as a person is in his or her body that person will always get used to their situation, no matter how hard it is.

      Besides, isn’t there a condition of life in prison, where the person can be released with good behavior after 25 years?

      But everyone who lives their body go to the Spirit World where the mind and the soul will continue in Life or in complete death, separated from God.

      Should that man be executed he will head into the place of darkness on the other side of the grave with full awareness of his situation. A place without the Light of God through Christ Jesus can never be a shelter for the suffering, such as that kind which Rodman Moses Lewis chose for himself.

  10. Ibo France
    November 21, 2020

    I support the death penalty only in exceptional circumstances. I firmly believe that serial killers, unremorseful barbaric murderers and child murderers should be executed once the evidence against them is beyond doubt.

    Even if such people are sentenced to life imprisonment, there is a possibility that they could escape and kill again.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  11. Old Time Religion
    November 21, 2020

    Keeping a murderer in prison for decades is a waste of national resources. The death penalty should be imposed to make clear that he who takes an innocent life, forfeits his own life, and that such criminality won’t be accepted in Dominica even for a moment


    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  12. November 21, 2020

    Iam of Christian and moral values myself. I have been reading the case all the way. That was a well plan mader . He showed absolutely no remorse. Having someone like this out. He will surely do it again to someone else. So he should be made an example to all of these killing that is taking place in DA these days.

  13. November 21, 2020

    i am confused with the article in the first paragraph you said the ddp is seeking the death penalty meaning she can only make a request but the decisions is not hers to make the judge can either accept or decline her request. however the another part of the article it is say he is the second man to be executed. did they accept the request? and i read in the news before sentencing a social inquiry has to be done, so why is the news reporting that he is the second man to be executed? a decision has not yet been made, correct?

    ADMIN: You may be referring to our previous news article on the murder trial (not this post) there was a confusing line which we have since removed entirely.

  14. The Truth Be Told
    November 21, 2020

    Cont’d would not go to such extremes and think that we should kill (committing the very same crime that he did). People ask God for wisdom and get familiar with the word of God. Yes, the man has to be punished – of course for what he did. But you people are irrational though I understand how many feel. This was hideous but we must understand the hurts of the man’s family as well. What is our role in such a case? Now it is on someone else foot not on ours. Have we stopped to think that we have children too and whilst we do not send them to do such hideous things. What if it is one of ours. I am sure you would sing a different song.
    Concluding I am not for the death penalty and in fact, it is not good for the nation to spill blood especially by the authorities which will bring a curse on the land. Jehovah asks us to love, forgive others so we can be forgiven. Judgment will come and the Great I Am knows our heart and his justice is truth. Seek truth from above. Wisdom too…

  15. The Truth Be Told
    November 21, 2020

    Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I will surely repay.
    The Old law condoned an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth.
    You people must read the bible. That was the Old days when bulls /lambs blood were sacrificed for the remission of sins.
    Today this is a new dispensation where Jesus (Yashua) the Messiah took on the death penalty to die for us all (all of us – You me for we were all born in sin and deserve to die and go to Hell yes I say Hell. Because of our sinful nature, many of us can act like Rodman if we think of ourselves (Pride) and do not conform to the word of God. This is what many of us are saying – Kill him. Do you all think of what you are saying or have you consulted the word of God? He did infact commit an outrageous crime. Yes he did but do we also commit a crime ( Killing him does not solve the problem of bringing back Trisha). Nor removing the hurt of the family especially the little one. If we understand our own sinfulness and what Jehovah did for us, we…

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