The bulk of extant research on public opinion on crime and punishment is focused on Global North nations. This article contributes a new perspective to the literature on punitivism by examining public opinion on crime, punishment and the death penalty in Barbados. The article presents insights from exploratory focus group research conducted in Barbados in 2017. These findings are particularly relevant as Barbadian lawmakers navigate reform of the nation's death penalty law. While the focus groups reveal anxieties that echo those identified in other jurisdictions, related to nostalgia for the past and concern regarding social order for instance, they also demonstrate the specific relevance of time and place. Using approaches from Caribbean Criminology and drawing on post-colonial perspectives, the article examines the context of views on punishment in Barbados, including perceptions of 'neo-colonial' interference and concerns about what can be lost in the process of 'progress'.