Posted on Thursday, 11.15.12
Jamaica to abolish slavery-era flogging law
By DAVID McFADDEN
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica is preparing to abolish a slavery-era law allowing flogging and whipping as means of punishing prisoners, the Caribbean country's justice ministry said Thursday.
The ministry said the punishment hasn't been ordered by a court since 2004 but the statutes remain in the island's penal code. It was administered with strokes from a tamarind-tree switch or a cat o'nine tails, a whip made of nine, knotted cords.
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 Cabinet has already approved repealing the flogging law and amendments to other laws in the former British colony, where plantation slavery was particularly brutal.