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Apr 26, 2016

Sabido Gets Life in Prison for the Murder of Girlfriend

Oscar Selgado

In cases we’ve covered, sentencing would usually be reserved pending mitigation pleas on behalf of the convicted. But in this case sentencing was immediate, as requested by Selgado after conferring with his client. Selgado says that it is almost certain that the matter will be appealed, but either way, a life sentence does not necessarily mean life behind bars.

 

Oscar Selgado, Attorney for Osmar Sabido

“The law is saying that a person convicted of murder as in this case shall be sentenced to life imprisonment, so there was no need to mitigate in this sentence. The Judge has already…having heard his ruling and the tone in which he delivered this ruling…he would have come up with the same thing, so there was no point in delaying the inevitable, and it will now give Osmar Sabido time counting from now to start his appeal, to look around if he wants to appeal, the family if they want to appeal.”

 

Reporter

“Does life in prison mean life in prison, in terms of time?”

 

Oscar Selgado

“I have always questioned that myself. There is never life in prison without the hope of parole inside Belize unless I think the Court specifically says so, and I have never heard the Court say that. I know people who have been sentenced to life in prison that are out. We have to look at the purpose of criminal law, the purpose of sentencing – rehabilitation, deterrence, remorse – the person has remorse over a period of time. And so if a person is given a specific life in prison…you have just heard Godfrey Smith and Eamon Courtenay arguing before the Court of Appeal that a person sentenced to life in prison has no hope of rehabilitation. Why should I rehabilitate when I will never be free again? The purpose of criminal sentencing in today’s world is to rehabilitate the offender, so that the offender can come back into society and be a productive citizen. I am certain that Mr. Woods, having taken the control of Kolbe, has instituted enough programs to rehabilitate even our worst offenders. Maybe some times there will be a longer period of rehabilitation from case to case, but rehabilitation is there, so that a person should never be sentenced to life in prison without the hope of parole. It’s inhumane to do so.”

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