14 May 2018 :
The European Union has urged Trinidad and Tobago to abolish the death penalty, saying that the bloc does not believe that capital punishment deters crime.
While EU representatives expressed concern about Trinidad and Tobago's high crime rate, gang activity and the signifcant number of guns on the nation's streets, British Ambassador Tim Stew countered that "there is too much evidence to show that a mandatory death penalty is not an effective deterrent to crime." He concluded that the death penalty was simply not the right response.
Flanked by colleagues from France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany, Stew said: "We don't think that's the right answer. That's not for us to tell you what to do. It's your country and you can run it as you wish and we can well understand the public pressures there may be, the political pressures there may be, people calling in the face of crime for the death penalty to be carried out.
"There is evidence which shows that when a jury knows that they are facing somebody and have to decide if they are not guilty on a murder case, when they know that the only penalty available to a judge is the death penalty, they are less inclined to find that person guilty and more inclined to let that person walk out of that court, even though they may have done what they are alleged to have done.
"Whereas, if juries know there is a range of options available to a judge, from heavy sentencing to lighter sentencing, depending on the terms and circumstances, then they are more inclined to see that justice is done."
The death sentence in Trinidad and Tobago is usually carried out by hanging. The last such execution took place in 1999.