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Nov 7, 2016

“Life” Isn’t Life Anymore; Gregory August Wins Reduced Sentence for Murder

Gregory August

The case of convicted murderer Gregory August who is serving a life sentence for the stabbing death of seventy-three-year-old Alvin Robinson was heard in the Court of Appeal on Friday.  In a milestone judgment handed down at the appellate level by Justices Samuel Awich, Murrio Lucille and Christopher Blackman, that judicial punishment has been overturned and part of the criminal code was found to be unconstitutional.  In fact, it sets a specific standard of doing away with life sentences for murder convictions, in favor of reduced jail time and the possibility of parole.  August maintained his innocence despite being found guilty of the 2009 murder and is challenging the conviction, as well as constitutionality of his sentence.  The Caribbean Court of Justice has granted permission to hear the matter in the January 2017 session. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay explained that the sentence must fit the crime.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Gregory August

“The law as it stands provides in the Criminal Code that a person who is convicted of a Class B murder must serve life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  We were contacted and asked whether we would take up an appeal for Gregory August.  Mr. August not only challenges the conviction that he says he is not guilty but he also challenges the sentence and the constitutionality of that sentence.  Last week Friday, the Court of Appeal handed down a sentence in which it held that the criminal code was unconstitutional, that part of the criminal code, the proviso to Section 106 is unconstitutional because it provides that a person who is convicted of murder and a Class B murder is to be sentenced to life in prison.  The parole rules under the prison regulations specifically state that a person who is serving time for murder is not entitled to apply for or seek parole and therefore what you have is a scenario that the person who suffers this sentence is unable to come out of prison at all.  Now the reason that we say that was unconstitutional and the Court of Appeal upheld it is that first of all, every judge when it comes to sentencing a person must be able to look at the facts of the particular case to see what is the appropriate punishment for that particular crime.  The sentence must fit the crime.”

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1 Response for ““Life” Isn’t Life Anymore; Gregory August Wins Reduced Sentence for Murder”

  1. jorge says:

    Of course, “life isn’t life anymore” because they can kill you for a dollar, and while you will not come back from the grave and your loved ones will have to suffer, they don’t want the killers to punish in jail until they die. Really disgraceful.

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