50 to be pardoned on TT’s 50th
Friday, June 22 2012
FIFTY convicts are to recommended for a Presidential pardon as TT commemorates 50 years of Independence, Minister of Justice Herbert Volney disclosed yesterday at the post-cabinet media briefing.
He made the disclosure while responding to a reporter’s suggestion that a recommendation be made for a presidential pardon of all persons with traffic ticket offences so as to ease the backlog at the Magistrates’ Courts.
“Worthy candidates, people who have spent all their lives in prison...it’s on the recommendation of the commissioner of prisons and will be dealt with by the Mercy Committee making a recommendation to the President. But we won’t jeopardise public safety by releasing any dangerous person on the public,” Volney said.
Section 88 of the Constitution makes provision for the Advisory Committee on the Power of Pardon, also known as the Mercy Committee. It comprises the National Security minister (who as of yesterday was John Sandy) who chairs the committee, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard and four members of civil society.
Under sub section 87, the President is empowered to grant “any person a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions, respecting any offences that he may have committed.”
During the briefing Volney announced that the North Atlantic Commonwealth Law Minister’s Conference will take place next Monday and Tuesday at the Hilton Trinidad. He described the occasion as historic.
It will commemorate all that has taken place in the country over the past 50 years in the criminal justice system and bring together attorneys general and ministers of justice from Caricom.
Persons from Commonwealth countries such as India will share their experiences with their respective justice systems.
Solicitor General for Britain Edward Garnier and Deputy Solicitor General for New Zealand Cheryl Gwyn and the Law Secretary of India, are expected to attend.