Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Saturday, 20 December 2008

Rare execution in Caribbean state

A murderer has been executed in the Caribbean island nation of St Kitts and Nevis - the first death penalty carried out there in more than a decade.

Charles Elroy Laplace, convicted in 2006 of killing his wife in a knife attack, was hanged inside a prison in Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts.

It comes amid growing concern in the Caribbean over the high level of violent crime.

PM Denzil Douglas said he hoped the execution would serve as a deterrent.

"We have to be certain that there is a deterrent among our people in taking another man's life," he told the National Assembly.

Jamaican move

Some other countries in the region have made moves in recent months aimed at making the death penalty easier to apply.

Jamaica's parliament voted in November to keep the death penalty, as it struggles to contain one of the world's highest murder rates. There have been more than 1,500 murders on the island so far this year.

It had a moratorium on capital punishment since 1988, but has nine men on death row.

Similar parliamentary moves have been carried out in Antigua and Barbuda.

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