Crime Wave Sweeping Caribbean

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - A crime wave is fueling a thirst
for executions across the English-speaking Caribbean. And that's
prompting concern among human rights groups.

One Caribbean nation wants to execute criminals who use weapons,
even if they haven't killed anyone. Another is seeking the death
penalty for murderous pirates. And a third, St. Kitts and Nevis,
has staged its first hanging in a decade.

A bell tolled today from inside Her Majesty's Prison on the
island of St. Kitts to signal the hanging of Charles Laplace,
condemned in 2006 for killing his wife in a knife attack. A small
crowd held a vigil outside the brick prison walls in the capital.

Polls consistently show strong support for capital punishment in
the region. But human rights groups say better policing on the
islands would do more to deter criminals.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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