Letters & Opinion

A Few Good Men

Cpl. Peters
Cpl. Peters

That takes us to the idea of extra-judicial killings or if I can palliate the concept and use the expression “extra-judicial punishment”. The latter assuming that you have been rightly faulted and therefore rightfully punished (extra-judicially).

It is convenient to recall here another film “Gangster Squad” (based on Hollywood’s interpretation of actual events) which portrayed cops who supposedly made the mob look soft. These LA officers employed some rather “dubious” tactics (carried machine guns in violin cases and dangled enemies over bridges) to bring down a crime syndicate and its mob boss Mickey Cohen. The end result: it worked! Of them it was said: “They carried their Tommy guns, more usually associated with the criminal underworld, but in the hands of these men, were deployed firmly on the right side of the law.”

It would appear that neither the Chief of Police Clemence Horrall who had sanctioned the “Gangster Squad” nor those police officers who carried out the guerilla campaign were ever held accountable. The rationale was the belief that sometimes the only way to enforce the law was to break it. However, the real difference to our case is that the LAPD Gangster Squad was prudent enough to ensure that their activities were never linked to the LAPD. Notably, Sgt. Jack O’Mara (original member of the LAPD Gangster Squad) stated in the Los Angeles Times for the online article “Crusaders in the underworld: The LAPD takes on organized crime”, “We did a lot of things that we’d get indicted for today”.

That notwithstanding, whilst I may not be privy to a number of things in relation to state affairs, the concept of Black Ops (Black Operations) is not unknown to countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and other powerful nations. Black Ops is in essence a covert activity by a government who usually employs various methods to achieve both the foreign and domestic interests of the state.

For instance, in 2007, the Central Intelligence Agency declassified secret records detailing illegal domestic surveillance, assassination plots, kidnapping, and infiltration by the state government. Perhaps in our naivety, what ought to have been covert (not imputable to the state) was unfortunately overt.

I do not purpose to endorse extra-judicial punishment as a regular tool of Executive action, being deeply conscious of the dangers of abuse that it poses. We would not want Saint Lucia to become a police state with secret police like Hitler’s SS or death squads roaming our streets. I hasten to add that Saint Lucia should never become or be considered a state transgressing the rule of law or deemed a repressive regime. We must forever affirm the law and respect every citizen’s inalienable rights. Accordingly, any use of such tools as extra-judicial punishment must be based on positive law.

I note with interest the comments of one Loesch in 1933 who stated:

“I had the operating director of the Chicago Crime Commission bring before me a list of the outstanding hoodlums, known murderers, murderers which you and I know but can’t prove, and there were about one hundred of them, and out of this list I selected twenty-eight men. I put Al Capone at the head and his brother next, and ran down the twenty-eight, every man being really an outlaw. I called them Public Enemies, and so designated them in my letter, sent to the Chief of Police, the Sheriff [and] every law enforcing officer. The purpose is to keep the publicity light shining on Chicago’s most prominent, well known and notorious gangsters to the end that they may be under constant observation by the law enforcing authorities and law-abiding citizens.”

In the United States “The National Security Council” is (as far as I am aware), the body that advises the President on such security matters. In some quarters in the United States, the assumption by the Executive of powers otherwise reserved to the courts has proved troublesome, resulting in a constant review and revision of these laws. Agents are purportedly monitored using a system of internal checks and balances (coupled with citizens’ advocacy groups), to minimize the possibility of government officials exceeding their lawful authority.

The first step therefore to legitimize such action, if one were so inclined, is to legislate. Some countries around the world have legislation which speak to “special measures” (such as internment) that can be utilized by security forces for the purpose of maintaining public order and for related matters. Saint Lucia should therefore contemplate adopting such measures for dealing with certain security questions.

I pause here to recall the 19th day of February, 2010, when Corporal 454 Vincent Peters was gunned down at the Castries Waterfront during an attempted robbery by the same man who had in June 2009 threatened to kill police officers after they had raided his community in Wilton’s Yard. The then Police Commissioner Ausbert Regis had called for legislation which would have allowed the police to act.

Turning to the moral question, the philosophical theory of consequentialism says that the consequences of one’s conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct. Hence, from a consequentialist viewpoint, a morally right act (or omission from acting) is one that will produce a good outcome or consequence. If we apply this school of thought, then extra-judicial punishment may not necessarily be immoral. But opposing theory teaches that the rightness or wrongness of one’s conduct stems from the character of the behaviour itself, rather than the outcomes of the conduct.

Similarly, the Fifth Commandment forbids killing. But we do observe instances where the Israelites did piously break this law, in their conquest of Canaan and in other battles.

I therefore pose the question to you: If you could save the world by killing someone, would you do it? There are three things to consider before making your decision: the morality of the action, the morality of the outcome, and the morality of the person performing the action.

Consider two examples: on one hand, when Cain killed Abel, Cain suffered blood guilt; but on the other, when David killed Goliath, David did not suffer the same ignominy: one was a murderer; the other, a champion.

Second in a 3-part article By Seryozha Cenac, Attorney At Law

5 Comments

  1. Awah, messieurs!

    [Old Lucian proverb]
    When god was giving brains, Seryozha make beast!

    Thankfully he is just shooting s#!t with his fingers, instead of shooting off his pistol; that is, unless this is merely an attempt to justify murder (the real meaning of extra-jucdicial killing) in the future.

    Now, the mission statement of GAR is revealed!

  2. Let me quote your stupidity here:

    “I can palliate the concept and use the expression “extra-judicial punishment”.
    “assuming that you have been rightly faulted and therefore rightfully punished”

    Seryozha: How does a person become “rightly faulted” in our society? Isn’t there a process preceded by ‘INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW” ??

    Yet you advocate the assassination of our impoverished citizens and the inquest into their guilt or innocence after their internment ? Let me recommend that your BOGUS law degree be investigated and proper charges be leveled against you for practicing Law without the required credentials and inciting sedition.

    It required much effort on my part to wade through this litany of this dribble presented by you with fictitious Hollywood propaganda as your compass to justifying the murder of young Black men by the truckload.

    You Seryozha Cenac, are a very dangerous and sick individual attempting to justify Extra Judicial murder by recommending torture and drowning-torture/water-boarding as employed at the various U.S. Torture Sites like Abu Gharib and Guantanamo U.S. Prison in Cuba, where many innocent people of Color were tortured and murdered by the CIA in what you propose as the solution to unemployment and hunger in St. Lucia. One other possibility takes me back to a statement made by the intelligent blogger NUDGE; you are simply an idiot pettifogger that anyone in search of competent legal services should AVOID AT ALL COST, including Pro Bono.

    Then in the end you left the brainwashing of the Hollywood studios and resorted to stories of Samson and Delilah and Cain and Abel. I have told you Negroes that the worship of this Naked Caucasian as God of Negroes, coupled with the mis-education and after effects of slavery, where Negroes like yourself have no knowledge of their African History, their names, language, and Religion has produced the inferior self-hating Negro the likes like Rick John Wayne, Peter Josie, and the many Samboes like Tom Tom.

    Again, I recommend that your lack of mental competence and your BOGUS credentials be examined and the appropriate action taken against you to arrest the kayos emanating from your mere presence in the Universe.

  3. The corruption continues.
    Months ago I said the following.

    !) Over 500 people have been murdered in St. Lucia over the past 15 years. It has been directly correlated with the breakdown of decency in the society inclusive of the breakdown in family life.
    87% of St. Lucians are now born outside of married family life and all evidence (from endless studies in the USA and Europe) points to the absence of the biological father in the home as the chief cause of violence in a society with no control over the youth in their developing years. In the process we have also become a corrupt moral community where drugs, alcohol and sex are paramount. We have replaced ‘freedom’ as an ideal with ‘freeness’ in all walks of life as in a lack of personal responsibility and the view that we can do as we please whether it is drug taking or stealing or sexual perversion. We ideolise single motherhood with its feminization of poverty and corruption of young women.

    2) The only reason we have had a hiatus in the murders was that the corruption and linkages between the police, drug underworld, government and big wigs in the society meant that the decision was made to ‘calm down’ the murders because of the heat from the English and Americans due to the Gobat murder and the revelations coming from the IMPACS report. Only in an utterly corrupt society can such a phenomenon occur.

    3) Subsequent to my assertions we learnt from the IMPACS Report that there is indeed a strong correlation with crime and linkage between the police, the drug underworld, the government and big wigs in our society. In other words I asserted this was an issue and now even a report backs up my claim.

    4) How dysfunctional is our society is made so much more apparent by the fact that NOTHING of substance has come out of the IMPACS Report. It might as well not have been written just like so many other reports gathering dust in government offices.
    Remember the report on the cost overuns and mismanagement and the view that there is an acceptance of corruption in this country that is part of the fabric of the society? Did not change a thing.

    With the IMPACS Report you have to ask the questions.

    Who were responsible for the extra judicial killings? Who ordered them? Who carried them out? Was the government of the day involved? An extra judicial killing is murder yet all we hear is that some people might lose their jobs!
    Even more importantly. Who are the leaders in society or in government, business and the police force who are part of the corruption as noted in the IMPACS REPORT and has bee alluded to in other previous reports?
    When the government came on and informed the people of the contents of the report I saw it as a joke as it offered no solutions and just glossed over the importance of the revelations. They might as well have said nothing. Just more obsfucation from a government that since 1997 has created nothing but mayhem, dysfunction and debt totalling billions.

    I am not asking anything that is not obvious to most members of this society but it is indicative of what a failed state that we are that no one cares or are too afraid to say anything.

    What is ironic is that we claim to be a Christian nation when our actions show otherwise. We also fail to see that our moral corruption also affects productivity, job creation and the future of our citizens. We continue to decline in every aspects of our society even in such importance things as the ease of doing business for investors. All part of the corruption yet the Chamber of Commerce, the Church , the legal fraternity continue to let things slide.

    We blame the police force but the reality is that these men and women are FROM our society. They are doing nothing more than what is seen as OK by the majority and what is probably being done id other party of the community. Blaming them is touching on just a part of the problem. We are them so stop the hypocricy.

    All the hand wringing and prayers and expressions of alarm are a waste of time as is the political wrangling because the reality is that ‘we like it so’ and no one has any intention of doing anything to alleviate the problem. No wonder the well educated leave and every child’s dream is to move out to the USA or Canada to get away from the evil that permeates this society.

  4. Joe

    This “avocar te papyeh” is worse than the killer cops who kill people so they will be thought of as indispensable and will have a job.

  5. SOM makes a very important for civil democracy:
    Recall ruthless, as in sociopathic bad guys when caught in live action would stare into the camera and unapologetocally demand that the hero good guy end it all ‘ Go ahead -do it shoot”. BUT the hero would cooly inform the bad guy that JUSTICE must have its day with the bad guy going through the PROCESS.
    That is the raison d etre of our civility: That even if 100 witnesses saw the bad guy commit a heinous crime at hign noon on the clearest of days; AND he admits that he did it and has a rap sheet (record of crimes) since grammar school, he must be put through the justice system like any one else.
    That is CIVILITY – fair-unbiased- BALANCED.
    When a society fails to come to grips with this responsibility then it has joined forces with the criminal mentality.
    The means must justify or harmonize with its ends.

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