News Release, 7th February 2007

privy council quashes death sentences of grenada 14 and orders resentencing – life does not mean life

Saul Lehrfreund  and Parvais Jabbar said “This is a tremendous victory after 23 years, including a long period facing imminent execution, the original death penalty has been set aside, their life sentences have been set aside and the Privy Council has ordered that they be resentenced, taking full account of their progress in custody. This offers hope of release to all the 13 Appellants.

The case was described by Lord Bingham in the course of the hearing as “probably the most important case from the Caribbean in the last three decades.”

The principle that they are entitled to be resentenced will have wide implications in other jurisdictions too.

We will continue to press for the convictions themselves to be reopened. The Privy Council have indicated the correct mechanism is by way of petition to the Governor General for a reference back to the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean.”

The case was argued by Edward Fitzgerald QC and Paul Taylor and team of lawyers from Grenada and Trinidad.

During the course of the hearing Mr Fitzgerald argued that the original death penalty was unconstitutional, that life should not mean life and that the Appellants were entitled to put their case for a determinate sentence allowing for their release now, that took full account of their progress in custody. A sentence of 36 years imprisonment with full remission would in fact allow for their release now.

Notes to Editors

1.                  The Appellants were represented by Edward Fitzgerald QC and Paul Taylor of Doughty Street Chambers. 

2.                  For further information please contact Saul Lehrfreund and Parvais Jabbar of Death Penalty Project at Simons Muirhead & Burton or Sejal Parmar, Human Rights Coordinator, Doughty Street Chambers.

Saul Lehrfreund:   Direct Tel:   0207-556-3146

Parvais Jabbar:    Direct Tel:   0207-556-3147

Sejal Parmar:      0207-404-1313