News Of The CCJ Capital Punishment Ruling
Convicted Murderers’ Sentences Commuted
HE Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ordered that the sentence of convicted murderers Jeffrey Joseph and Lennox Boyce be commuted because there was a delay for a period of more than five years.
They also said that the decision of Pratt v Morgan was applicable.Boyce and Joseph had contended that procedural circumstances rendered their mandatory death sentence on conviction of murder unconstitutional.
Two major issues were considered by the Court. One was whether international treaties which had not been incorporated into domestic law could confer rights on citizens, the other was whether the exercise of prerogative powers, specifically the Prerogative of Mercy as conferred on the Governor General under Section 78 of the Constitution of Barbados, was justifiable and if so to what extent.
Attorney-General of Barbados, Dale Marshall, QC, on hearing of the decision, stated that Government welcomed the determination, since it represented clarification relating to the exercise of the Prerogative of Mercy. In this light, the Court held that the exercise of the Prerogative of Mercy was reviewable by the Courts on the ground of procedural fairness.
… read the rest of the Barbados Advocate article (link here)
I used to be heavilly in favour of capital punishment. Probably still would be under quite a few circumstances.
But in the past ten years, I have come to realize that the number of innocent people who have been sentenced to death or actually executed is not inconsequential. Witnesses lie, experts can be wrong, juries and courts can be careless or prejudiced.
I don’t know what the answer is to all this, but whatever the court says one way or the other won’t end the debate.
Radio Jamaica story (link here)…
The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will Wednesday deliver judgement in its first major capital punishment case.
The judgement will be delivered by the seven-member court.
The Barbados government had brought the case before the court in June after it filed eight grounds of appeal.
It argued that the Court of Appeal in that country erred in law when it commuted the death sentence of Jeffrey Joseph and Lennox Boyce to life imprisonment for the murder of 22-year-old Marquelle Hippolyte.
Death warrants had been read to the two convicted men on two occasions.
The men had earlier gone to the Appeal Court contending that it was a breach of their constitutional right to execute them while they were awaiting a final report from the Inter American Commission for Human Rights.
Lawyers for the convicted men had asked the CCJ, not to overturn the decision by the Court of Appeal that earlier this year commuted the death sentences of their clients to life imprisonment.