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Nov 7, 2016

Imprisonment For Life is “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”

Eamon Courtenay

The moral argument, according to Courtenay, is whether or not an inmate can be reformed and rehabilitated after serving a lengthy sentence.  He says that an inmate who is not entitled to parole faces cruel and unusual punishment.


Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Gregory August

“There are varying types of scenarios that can occur and so the question is each one of them must be looked at where the situation that the law says this is the sentence then the judge doesn’t have a discretion.  Additionally, and this is a more philosophical point, the question is, someone who is in his twenties or her twenties and that person commits and offense, serious though it is, is the society saying that that person can never redeem himself.  That person can never reform, can never get back the confidence of society and contribute and say, listen I have served twenty-five years of my life, I am now forty-five or I am now fifty.  I have reformed, I have led a constructive life in prison and what is the society saying about that person? Should that person continue to stay in prison?  So where you have a situation that a person is not entitled to parole we say that that is cruel and unusual punishment contrary to Section Seven of the constitution because everyone must have a chance to redeem himself or reform himself or herself and to have a hearing at some point in time for a parole board to say yes this person should be allowed to go back into society.”


In August’s case, his sentence has been reduced to thirty years, a judgment which, as we said, is being challenged at the CCJ.

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3 Responses for “Imprisonment For Life is “Cruel and Unusual Punishment””

  1. From the West says:

    Now jail is cruel and unusual, why only if it is a life sentence, maybe a week in jail is cruel and unusual too? You take a life, your life should be taken, plain and simple. The only reason they get life in prison instead of death is in case a mistake was made during the process, and at a later date it is discovered that the person is not guilty, the suspect can be released. Come on Mr. Courtenay, lets see if you think a murderer can be rehabilitated in the unfortunate event that one of your loved ones is raped and killed.

  2. MNHG says:

    Thanks Mr. West, but he also needs the criminals and murderers to go free so he makes more and more money. He lives a life of sucking blood off the murderers & the stupid youths with all their crimes !!!
    What a world would it be without a single crime nor murder !!!
    lawyers,procecutors, courts, police, even security guards etc.etc. would have to do a productive & legal job to earn a living !!!

  3. Marie says:

    I agree with you West. All of a sudden attorneys lightbulb comes on, but their light on issues is still dim.

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