Today’s Editorial: “Execution”

POSTED: 03/6/11 10:13 PM

This newspaper, The Today Newspaper has a policy to refrain from publishing grueling pictures of crime scenes and traffic accidents. The privacy of victims is the more important to us than any form of sensationalism.

The picture we published Saturday on our front page about the execution-style killing in Cole Bay seems to violate our policy. Our decision even goes against a request by the police not to publish any pictures from the crime scene.

Why?

Because the picture tells a story that needs to hit home on the political level. This execution sets a new and grueling standard for crime in St. Maarten – and the picture illustrates that.

Our police force and our prosecutor’s office remain seriously understaffed; our prison remains filled to capacity and crime is becoming increasingly brutal.

This situation requires decisive action from our Justice Minister; it also requires resetting the priorities in our fledgling budget, unless we want the Friendly Country to become Palermo in the Caribbean, with rampant mafia-style crimes.

Our sympathy goes to the victim’s family. At the same time we ask their understanding for the difficult decision we had to make about the picture on our front page.

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