Death penalty removal among factors considered by judge in sentencing of Rushane Barnett

The seriousness of the case and the removal of the death penalty as a sentencing option were among the factors considered by Justice Leighton Pusey, who sentenced Rushane Barnett to 5 concurrent sentences of life in prison.

Barnett pleaded guilty to killing his cousin and her 4 children, in Cocoa Piece Clarendon, in June.

31-year-old Kemesha Wright, and her children, 15-year-old Kimanda Smith, 11-year-old Sharalee Smith, five-year-old Rafaella Smith and 23-month-old Keshawn Henry Junior, where stabbed multiple times at their home.

Barnett must serve 61 years and 8 months in prison, before being eligible for parole.

That means the now 23 year old man would be about 84 years old, by the time he is considered for parole.

Justice Pusey said this is a crime for which adjectives and descriptions were insufficient, and which shocked and horrified the nation, despite being a country that has unfortunately gotten too used to murder.

In handing down the sentence Justice Pusey said he considered the guilty plea and the four months Barnett already spent in custody.

Noting that the law allows for a discount or reduction in sentence for someone who pleads guilty to an offence, Justice Pusey explained that he would not give a discount, in this case.

And Justice Leighton Pusey says the lives of the 5 family members who were slain in Clarendon should be remembered.

He said he was deliberate in not mentioning the name of the accused Rushane Barnett while handing down the sentence.


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