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May 23, 2022

C.C.J. Orders Hillaire Sears Release from Belize Central Prison

Hector Guerra

In December 2002, Hillaire Sears was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after being convicted of the murder. That conviction was later reduced to manslaughter before Sears was subsequently released on parole ten years later.  But while on parole and working at the Belize Central Prison in 2014, Sears was subjected to a drug test and the results came back positive for marijuana fifty-five days after he was detained. He’s remained in prison ever since until Friday when the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled in his favor that his detention during that fifty-five day period was unlawful. Today we spoke with attorneys Hector Guerra and Leslie Mendez who explained the case, as well as the decision of the appellate court.


Hector Guerra, Attorney-at-law

“On Friday, the judgment was issued in the matter and the court ordered, in short, among other orders, that Hillaire be released forthwith and it also granted Hillaire legal costs in the matter. So that‘s what happened on Friday. Since then, Hillaire has been released on the conditions that were attendant to his parole back in 2014, before he was re-incarcerated.”


Isani Cayetano

“What’s the story in short, insofar as Hillaire?”


Hector Guerra

“In short, it goes back all the way to 2001 when Hillaire was first incarcerated for murder.  That was later appealed and replaced with a conviction for manslaughter. He was later released on parole in 2012 for behaving good and in 2014 his parole was revoked because a condition of his parole was that he was not to indulge in the use of drugs which included marijuana. In revoking his parole, he was never given the opportunity to be heard, to explicate himself. That really was the center of the challenge which we launched. We said that the revocation of his parole breached his right to liberty, not to be deprived of his right to liberty arbitrarily and it deprived his right to equal protection of the law, meaning due process to be heard.”

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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