JFJ says several factors must be considered before handing down of death penalty

Human rights lobby group Jamaicans for Justice, (JFJ), has stressed, that any judge deciding on a death penalty, will have to consider several factors, prior to handing down the sentence.

This in the wake of reports on Tuesday, that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions indicated, that it will be seeking the death penalty for the man accused, of killing a Clarendon family.

Rushane Barnett appeared before the home circuit court in Kingston on Tuesday, and will return on Friday July 22, for legal representation to be settled, among other things.

He is charged with the murders of his cousins; 31 year old Kimeisha Wright, her daughters: 15 year old Kimanda Smith, 10 year old Shara-lee Smith, 5 year old Rafaella Smith; and her son, 23 month old Kishawn Henry .

JFJ Executive Director Mikel Jackson said the group does not support the death penalty, in any circumstance.

Ms. Jackson said in cases where the death penalty is being sought, the judge will apply the trimmingham principle, as was the case in the 2011 Peter Duogal matter, in a bid to determine, if the case falls in the category of an offence, being the most extreme and exceptional, the worst of the worse, and the rarest of the rare.

She explained that the court must consider, among other things, the accused person’s age and potential for reform.


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