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Jul 15, 2015

August Appeals Life Imprisonment Sentence

Gregory August

Gregory August, who is now twenty-seven, was convicted on November twenty-eighth 2013 by Judge Adolph Lucas and sentenced to life imprisonment. But August is appealing his conviction and sentence before the Court of Appeal. August was nineteen when he was accused with the May 2009 murder of Alvin Robinson, who was found stabbed to death inside his home by relatives. Attorney Eamon Courtney, on behalf of August, submitted in court that the sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon him is unconstitutional and that the judge erred when he did not direct the juror to consider August’s good character. Courtenay explains.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney

“We made two points, one was that he was entitled to what is called a good character direction and secondly, he said that the sentence imposed on him of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is unconstitutional. On the first point, the law is where a person raises the question of his character in a trial, the judge should, in most cases, give a good character direction; that means to tell the jury that this is a person of good character and therefore, if he testifies, you should consider whether you want to believe him because he isn’t “a bad person.” Similarly, if he is a person of good character you must consider whether he has a propensity or a predisposition to committing the offense. That wasn’t given, and we said that was an error. We also raised the question of sentence. Under a criminal code, a person who is found guilty of murder and isn’t sentenced to death is sentenced to a mandatory minimum of life imprisonment parole. Section Seven of the Constitution states that no one should be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment and we say that to commit a person to prison for the rest of his/her life is unconstitutional, unless there is a system that allows him to have his sentenced reviewed. In this particular case, the parole rules specifically say that a person who is convicted of murder cannot rely on the parole rules. There is a provision in the constitution where he can apply for mercy from the Governor General, but we say that that is not sufficient and that the sentence imposed without the possibility of parole is unlawful in itself and  is not cured by him having to go to the Governor General to exercise mercy.”

 

At the end of today’s court hearing, President Manuel Sosa who presided over the trial asked both sides to consider the appropriate sentence to be imposed on August should Courtney be successful in his submissions before the court.  The crown was represented by the D.P.P. herself, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal.

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3 Responses for “August Appeals Life Imprisonment Sentence”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    It’s ironic how some of these so called gangsters go out in the community and murder people,but as soon as they’re sentenced they cry like a little bitch.At least he is still alive,what about the victim who does not have the options that he is being afforded.

  2. Spike says:

    If you’re a murderer how can you have good character?

  3. Dawn Gray says:

    There’s no such thing as good Character, when it has to do Murder….Belize is way behind in Time.

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