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Offences Against the Persons Act debated in Parliament

Offences Against the Persons Act debated in Parliament
12 Sep

New legislation could see the death sentences of some people who have been convicted of murder commuted to a lesser penalty.

Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams made the revelation as he led off debate on the Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Bill 2018 on Tuesday.

Under the amendments to the bill, the death penalty is no longer the automatic punishment for a murder conviction.

Abrahams says Government will be reviewing the sentences of people who were given the death penalty previously.

Judges will still have the power to impose the death penalty in Barbados, but only in cases which truly deserve it.

That, according to St Michael South MP Kirk Humphrey, is what the amendment to the Offences Against the Persons Act is seeking to ensure.

In his contribution to the debate, Humphrey who is also Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy said by giving judges the option to decide, Barbados is now falling in line with the rest of the world.

Government backbencher Ralph Thorne is calling for police to have more options when they are preparing to charge a suspect with killing someone.

The Christ Church South representative and Queens Counsel said that a suspect can now only be charged with murder or manslaughter and he believes that has an impact on the jury.