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Mar 8, 2022

Nora Parham’s Posthumous Pardon

Nora Parham

She was put to death in 1963, after a skewed justice system condemned her for the death of her abusive policeman common-law-husband. Now, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Cabinet has announced that an application be made that Nora Parham – the only woman to ever be sentenced and put to death in Belize – be given a posthumous pardon to, quote,correct a historic wrong, unquote. Minister of Human Development, Dolores Balderamos Garcia had proposed at the last House Meeting, that the late Ms Parham be considered for the pardon. A release from the Government Press Office today states that Cabinet is of the view that the pardon will help to play a meaningful role on the focus we place on matters of domestic violence. Governor General, FroylaTzalam will be asked to take the recommendation to the Belize Advisory Council for consideration. While the pardon can do nothing to bring Nora Parhamback, it is hoped that it will serve to offer her family some consolation for a crime she was convicted of and made to pay the ultimate price, despite the fact that her trial, conviction and sentence were widely thought to be unfair. News Five spoke with Minister Garcia via zoom.

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“I think the begging of it is, on the fourth of February I raised in the House of Representatives, at the time we moved the motion against domestic violence, which received the unanimous support of the House. At that time when I moved the motion, I did raise that issue of the possibility of the granting of a posthumous pardon to Nora Parham, to as a put it, right a historic wrong and correct a stain on our history. Now, please let me clarify, on Friday last Cabinet gave its approval or its support to the proposal that we will need to send to the Governor General and the Belize Advisory Council. So, I wouldn’t call it a decision as yet. Of course, the decision of Cabinet is to lend its support and to move the process forward. So, if you look at section fifty two of the constitution, as our Attorney General has advised, the prerogative of mercy is in the hands of the Governor General who may grant a pardon. And then, the section fifty two of the constitution goes on to say that the prerogative of mercy and the pardon will be exercised on the advice of the Belize Advisory Council. So, just to make it abundantly clear, Cabinet has not taken the decision. We have to put it to the Governor General, who will put it then to the Belize Advisory Council for its advice and recommendation, and then we are hoping the process can be completed. But I must tell you how trilled we are that this news is coming out today, which is International Women’s Day. I think this is really a mark of history. It is a thrill, not only for the women of Belize but all Belizeans.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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