plea bargain away the death penalty in ancase where a teenager was murdered overna football jersey, at least partially to escapenthe massive trial cost. The district attorneynhad promised repeatedly that CarnelnClyde Frasure would pay the ultimatenprice for allegedly shooting a 16-year-oldnchild over a Miami Hurricanes jersey.nFrasure—a “cold-blooded, executionstyle”nkiller, according to the district attorney—isnnow eligible for parole before thenturn of the century.nRandy Salzman writes from Augusta,nGeorgia.nLetter From thenWest Indiesnby Geoffrey WagnernCrime and PunishmentnAmong the Last EnglishmennEngland abolished capital punishmentnin the mid-1960’s when few capital crimesnwere committed there, and corporal punishmentnwas abolished long before that.nSometimes when I am in Manhattan,nreading of the constant homicides there,nI recall the four “Mayfair Playboys” of mynnot-so-distant youth who were sentencednto the “cat” in two doses of eight strokes,n. the full order of 16 being thought unbearablenat one time. Their offense: beatingnup an old lady (they did not even robnher). Last year most crimes in Britain,nwhich admittedly doubled from 1979nto 1990, were simple car thefts. In thenEast Sussex in which I was brought up Inhardly ever saw a policeman (for somenreason London’s Met, or Metropolitannpolice, used to refer to their country colleaguesnas “Swedes”).nIn 1966 England appointed its first colorednpoliceman (a Coventry Pakistani).nUpon independence every ex-BritishnCaribbean island—Montsenat and Belizenchoosing to remain dependent—retainednthe death penalty by hanging. Throughoutnall of them, prison governors, prisonnstaffs, police commissioners, police forces,nand local criminal investigation departmentsnare drawn from indigenous populations.nThis interrelatedness makes fornefficiency in apprehension and convictionnof criminals. When Scotland Yard officialsnarrived in Grenada last year search­n44/CHRONICLESning for a West Indian fugitive who hadnkilled his paramour in London, they werenastonished to find him picked up by thenlocal force within hours. Similarly, whennthe sometime governor-general ofnBermuda, Richard Sharpies, a wartimenfriend of mine, was murdered while walkingnhis dogs outside Govemment House,nhis three assassins (who had first stranglednthe dogs) were rapidly apprehended,ntried, and hanged.nThroughout these islands due processnseems to be scrupulously maintained.nWe do not amputate hands or shootn66 drug dealers in the back of the necknwithout appeal in a day, as does China.nThe trial of the pro-Cuban revolutionariesnwho murdered Prime Minister MauricenBishop of Grenada, together with mostnof his govemment, in 1983 lasted 90 days.nThe appeals, involving 14 attorneys (allnJamaican but for one Guyanese), went onnfor over seven years. As each was paid anthousand dollars a day for litigation, andnwas put up in the best hotel, their expensesnthreatened to bankrupt the country.nIn short, these are small democraciesnthat believe the death penalty only failsnto deter those whom it fails to deter.nThey are mostly agricultural and religiousncommunities, and American televisionnhas only recently hit them (chiefly inntourist hotels, for the cost of a satellitendish is prohibitive).nSt. Vincent recently hanged withoutnincident a father-son robbery team guiltynof murder, manslaughter, and conspiracynto murder. Jamaica has been holdingnclose to a hundred on death row while,nas I write, Trinidad is sequestering 113nMoslems on 15 capital charges each afternthe group’s seizure of the Port of Spainnparliament building (the Red House)nand the shooting in the leg of PrimenMinister A.N.R. Robinson. Furthermore,nmost of these islands retain flogging, atnleast on the books under its perhaps morenmeliorative term of whipping, which isnsometimes carried out in magistrates’ncourts. In Grenada last November a 47year-oldnman was sentenced to sevennyears in prison and seven strokes of thencat for raping an 11-year-old girl, surelynenough to satisfy Andrea Dworkin andnthe most extreme of the man-hating feministsn(though the bmtal instmment thatnripped up the backs of the Mayfair Playboysnin the 30’s is no longer employed).nThe Barbados cat, used on two rapists lastnyear (one having raped his own daughter),nconsists of four or five hempennthongs. When in St. Lucia a short whilennnago a man was sentenced to have hisnwhipping carried out publicly in the caf>ital,nCastries, half the population streamedninto town to see it done, and it wasnaccordingly ordered indoors. (One isnreminded that Amnesty International isnforever campaigning against the bmtalitynof three strokes of the birch, in front ofnparents, on the Isle of Man, a fate anynBritish schoolboy of my generation wouldnlaugh at.) Obscene language, of a far lessnobnoxious nature than that heard onnany New York subway, is locally punishablenand punished. In a society of totalnpromiscuousness and “outside” children,nthe Windwards disallow Playboy andnPenthouse. Officially, at least, our moralsnlike our hems are high, and in the case ofncrime and punishment West Indians arenthe last Englishmen left around.nI watched the Maurice Bishop murderntrial at close hand. The 14 apprehendedn(13 men and one woman) after thenU.S. intervention of October 25, 1983,nnow Thanksgiving Day on the island,nwere accorded more than seven yearsnof raucous appeals. The woman wasnthe Jamaican wife of the group leader.nDeputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard,nand incidentally an heiress to the TianMaria liqueur fortune. All but one werensentenced to death by hanging, JudgenDennis Byron of St. Kitts donning thenblack cap (actually a piece of material).nOn July II, 1991, the GrenadiannCourt of Appeals, under Barbadian SirnFrederick Smith, upheld all the convictions.nThe attorney general could notnallow any further appeals and, no reprievencoming from the Crown, through HernMajesty’s representative on the island,nGovernor-General Sir Paul Scoon, thosenso sentenced had to hang, including thenwoman, a first for Grenada, though by nonmeans for Trinidad. A short book callednYield to the Night purports to describe thenlast hanging of a woman in England,nindeed a pitiful case. What followed innGrenada was some clumsy, even cowardly,nfootwork.nCarnival was on and effigies of thenCoards were hung in Market Square.nClearly, the relatives of the innocent civiliansnkilled in the massacre around the oldnfort wanted justice done. Equally clearnwas that neither the governor-general nornPrime Minister Nicholas Brathwaite hadnthe stomach for it, least of all the swingingnof a woman. The atmosphere wasnfurther inflamed by the highly placednclemency addicts on the island, as wellnas those off it, notably the militants inn