The petition and case system



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Cases 11.826, 11.843, 11.846 and 11.847, Report N° 49/01, Leroy Lamey, Kevin Mykoo, Milton Montique and Dalton Daley (Jamaica)





  1. In Report N° 49/01 dated April 4, 2001 the Commission concluded that the State was responsible for: a) violating the rights of the victims in Case Nos. 11.826 (Leroy Lamey), 11.843 (Kevin Mykoo), 11.846 (Milton Montique) and 11.847 (Dalton Daley) under Articles 4(1), 5(1), 5(2) and 8(1), in conjunction with violations of Article 1(1) of the American Convention, by sentencing these victims to a mandatory death penalty; b) violating the rights of the victims in Case Nos. 11.826 (Leroy Lamey), 11.843 (Kevin Mykoo), 11.846 (Milton Montique) and 11.847 (Dalton Daley) under Article 4(6) of the Convention, in conjunction with violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by failing to provide these victims with an effective right to apply for amnesty, pardon or commutation of sentence; c) violating the rights of the victims in Case Nos. 11.843 (Kevin Mykoo), 11.846 (Milton Montique) and 11.847 (Dalton Daley) under Article 7(5) and 7(6) of the Convention, in conjunction with violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by failing to promptly bring the victims before a judge following their arrests, and by failing to ensure their recourse without delay to a competent court to determine the lawfulness of their detention; d) violating the rights of the victims in Case Nos. 11.846 (Milton Montique) and 11.847 (Dalton Daley) under Articles 7(5) and 8(1) of the Convention, in conjunction with violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by reason of the delays in trying the victims; e) violating the rights of the victims in Case Nos. 11.826 (Leroy Lamey), 11.843 (Kevin Mykoo), 11.846 (Milton Montique) and 11.847 (Dalton Daley) under Article 5(1) and 5(2) of the Convention, in conjunction with violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by reason of the victims' conditions of detention: f) violating the rights of the victims in Case Nos. 11.846 (Milton Montique) and 11.847 (Dalton Daley) under Articles 8(2)(d) and 8(2)(e) in conjunction with violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by denying the victims access to legal counsel for prolonged periods following their arrests; and g) violating the rights of the victims in Case Nos. 11.826 (Leroy Lamey), 11.843 (Kevin Mykoo), 11.846 (Milton Montique) and 11.847 (Dalton Daley) under Articles 8 and 25 of the Convention, in conjunction with violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by failing to make legal aid available to these victims to pursue Constitutional Motions. 




  1. The IACHR issued the following recommendations to the State:

 

1. Grant the victims an effective remedy which included commutation of their death sentences and compensation.

 

2. Adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to ensure that the death penalty is not imposed in violation of the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Convention, including Articles 4, 5 and 8, in particular that no person is sentenced to death pursuant to a mandatory sentencing law.


3. Adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to ensure that the right under Article 4.6 of the Convention to apply for amnesty, pardon or commutation of sentence is given effect in Jamaica.

 

4. Adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to ensure that the victims’ rights to humane treatment under Articles 5.1 and 5.2 of the Convention, particularly in relation to their conditions of detention, are given effect in Jamaica.



 

5. Adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to ensure that the right to a fair hearing under Article 8.1 of the Convention and the right to judicial protection under Article 25 of the Convention are given effect in Jamaica in relation to recourse to Constitutional Motions.



 

  1. By note dated January 22, 2007, the State informed the Commission that by virtue of the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Pratt & Morgan v. the Attorney General of Jamaica [1993], in any instance where the period between a sentence of death and the time of execution exceeds five years, the carrying out of that execution will be presumed to be inhuman and degrading punishment and therefore inconsistent with Jamaican law. Consequently, as a matter of course, death row convicts will have their sentence of death automatically commuted to life imprisonment, once the sentence has not been executed within a five-year period after sentence. Furthermore, the State expressed that it regarded the first recommendation as “vague and incoherent” considering that the Commission has not set out the purpose for compensation or the underlying principles on which this compensatory package should be based. According to the State, if the Commission’s argument is that compensation is due because the State has not provided an effective remedy in death penalty cases, this point is unfounded because as a result of the decision in Lambert Watson v. R [2004] the mandatory death penalty was declared unconstitutional and that the law was revised. Therefore, the State would only contemplate compensation for those persons given a mandatory sentence of death after the ruling in Lambert Watson, because to do otherwise, would be to apply the law retroactively.




  1. Concerning the second recommendation, the State informed that it had adopted legislative measures to ensure that the mandatory death penalty is not imposed with amendments to the Offences Against the Persons Act 1992, the Parole Act 1978, the Criminal Justice [Reform] Act of 1978 and the Gun Court Act 1974, pursuant to the Offences Against the Persons (Amendment) Act 2005 and the Offences Against the Persons (Amendment) Act 2006. Specifically, the State indicated that the present legislation effectively discarded the two-classification of murder into categories of capital murder, which attracted an automatic and obligatory sentence, and non-capital murder, and, therefore, the sentence of death is now optional for all cases in which previously involved mandatory death sentences. In this regard, the State indicated that the court is mandated, before passing sentence, to hear submissions, representations and evidence from the prosecution and the defense in relation to the issue of the sentence to be passed. In addition, the State of Jamaica informed that whenever a sentence of life imprisonment is imposed, the court has the duty to specify the period of imprisonment that should be served before the offender is eligible for parole. The State similarly indicated that provisions have been made for a review of all mandatory sentences of death previously imposed under the Offences Against the Persons (Amendment) Act 1992 and that a result, sentences have been quashed and a judicial determination has been made, or is to be made, as to the appropriate sentence to be imposed for each convict.




  1. With regard to the Commission’s third recommendation, the State informed that the Governor General is empowered under Section 90 of the Jamaican Constitution to grant pardon to any person convicted of any offence, grant respite to any person either indefinitely or for a specified period from the execution of any punishment imposed on that person, or, to substitute a less severe form of punishment for that imposed on any person. The Governor General acts in this on the recommendation of the Jamaican Privy Council under Section 91 of the Constitution. The State referred that the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Neville Lewis v. The Attorney General of Jamaica [2000], regarding fair and proper procedures for the grant of mercy, has become part of Jamaican law, individuals are given notice of hearings and the opportunity to present submissions on their behalf. The State also pointed out that by virtue of the Offences Against the Persons (Amendment) Act 2005, there is no longer a mandatory sentence of death in Jamaica and that judicial consideration of submissions, representation and evidence, as to the appropriateness of the sentence to be passed, is required in all circumstances where a sentence of death may be imposed. Furthermore, the State indicated that persons sentenced to death in Jamaica have always enjoyed a right of appeal against sentence, which is evidenced by the several death row cases that have gone before the Court of Appeal and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Appeal from a sentence of death can and has led to either confirmation or to a quashing of the sentence and the substitution of a more appropriate sentence. According to the State, it effectively guarantees persons condemned to death the right to seek a review of their sentence which can lead to the commutation of their sentence.




  1. In respect of the Commission’s fourth recommendation, the State pointed out that Leroy Lamey, Kevin Mykoo, Milton Montique and Dalton Daley are inmates that have benefited under the Lambert Watson v. Jamaica [2004]. The State indicated that as a result of the decision in Lambert Watson decision, all persons on “death row” were removed from “death row” and placed within general prison population, pending the outcome of the hearings as to the appropriateness of the death sentence previously imposed mandatorily. Furthermore, the State indicated that generally, the conditions of detention comply with the standards of humane treatment and that the Inspectorate Unit of the Jamaican Correctional Services continues to monitor conformity to the requisite standards of order, cleanliness and adequacy of space, bedding, ventilation and lighting in all correctional facilities and where necessary the Unit makes recommendations for systematic improvements.




  1. Finally, concerning the fifth recommendation, the State indicated that it retained the view that judicial protections and fair hearing procedures are effectively guaranteed under the laws of Jamaica. As to the provision of legal aid assistance to persons wishing to bring Constitutional Motions, the State expressed it is not adverse to giving consideration to such a course of action but maintained, however, that this is not a requirement of Article 8 of the Convention.




  1. The Commission points out that in its 2004 and 2005 and 2006 Annual Reports, the Commission stated there had been partial compliance with the Commission’s first, second, and third recommendations. The Commission notes that the last information from the parties following its request for details on compliance with its recommendations was received on January 22, 2007, and that since then it has received no more up-to-date information. Based upon the latest information presented by the State, the Commission now considers that there has been compliance with the Commission’s second recommendation with the adoption of legislative measures to ensure that no person is sentenced to death pursuant to a mandatory sentencing law. With respect to the remaining recommendations, however, the Commission notes that the latest communication presented by the State of Jamaica, for the most part, reiterates the information provided in its previous response considered by the Commission in its 2004 Annual Report.




  1. On June 19, 2008, the petitioners for Kevin Mykoo sent a letter where they informed that their client expressed that the environment at his new prison, South Camp, is much better than the previous one. However, Mr. Mykoo raised the following issues that pertain to the recommendation on conditions of detention: water leaking through the roof of his cell< an infestation of red ants in the cell; and the lack of access to a dentist since 2005.




  1. The IACHR requested updated information to both parties on November 4, 2008 and November 12, 2009, but neither of them replied.




  1. The Commission concludes that the State complied partially with the aforementioned recommendations. The IACHR will continue supervising until full compliance is reached.



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