December 2, 2021 | Hopeton O’Conner-Dennie |
In a historic move Jamaica’s Director Of Public Prosecutions, (DPP) Ms. Paula Llewellyn has moved with unmeasured dispatch to appeal the apparent light sentence handed down by trial judge Bertram, in the Hanover Circuit Court yesterday December 1, 2021. Twelve years for double murder.
Ms. Llewellyn claim
“The light sentence handed down could cause public outrage. It falls below the minimum amount that would normally be handed down for a similar case based on agreed sentencing guidelines. Section 54 of the sentencing guidelines states clearly this provision according to the criminal code in Jamaica.”
Details of the actual case are sketchy, but what we known is that the accused was charged for a double murder with an accomplice who is deceased at the time of the trial. The convicted gangster, it is alleged shot dead with a single bullet to the head of a businessman, the victim, execution style after robbing him of JA$32,000 and relieving him of his license firearm. This was a most chilling crime.
Right To appeal
It was only within the last three months or so that they gave the right for the DPP Paula Llewellyn to appeal a conviction or any such related matters were passed by parliament. This is not only a historic case, but a test case. The effectiveness of this new provision is on show. Long in gestation this bill has been. Hence she now gets a second bite at the cherry as they like to say … was eventually passed into law in Jamaica.
Speaking in a radio interview monitored by Vision Newspaper the rather approachable DPP was her usual articulate self. She related inter alia:
“Immediately after the sentence was handed down my deputy left the courtroom and called me on the phone. She reported to me the outcome of the sentence handed down of 12 years. The convict was given two ten year sentences to run concurrently and would have been eligible for parole after serving 10 years.”
So stated a rather calm sounding DPP as she spoke to Cliff Hughes and Tyrone Reid on Nationwide News Network (NNN) evening show.
There is a right 14 day Window to file the appeal. It is the right thing to do.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a poet, elegist, author and senior international journalist who writes for Vision newspaper.