Privy Council upholds minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years imprisonment for firearm offences
The minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years imprisonment for offences committed with the use of a firearm has been upheld by the Privy Council.
The sentence was imposed on Tafari Morrison in 2013 when he was 17 years old.
Morrison had pleaded guilty to the offences of illegal possession of firearm, robbery with aggravation and wounding with intent.
He was 16 years old when he reportedly committed the offences.
On July 22, 2010, the offences against the person act was amended to provide for a minimum sentence of 15 years, where the offence of wounding with intent is committed with the use of a firearm.
Morrison appealed against the imposition of the minimum sentence and the court of appeal dismissed the appeal.
He took the case to the Privy Council contending that the sentence was prohibited by the charter of fundamental rights and freedoms and was unlawful.
Morrison reportedly robbed a man of his cellular phone on the night of August 28, 2012 and fired several shots, wounding him in the back.
Meantime, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says the Privy Council’s ruling in the Tafari Morrison case is of great importance to the government’s legislative agenda.
The Privy Council ruled today that the sentence of 15 years minimum mandatory
imposed was not unconstitutional and did not infringe the Charter of Rights.
Morrison was aged 16 at the time of the offence, and aged 17 at the time of the sentencing.
He pleaded guilty to the offences of illegal possession of firearm, robbery with aggravation and wounding with intent.
Mr. Chuck states that the case is of great importance, as it analyses the effect of minimum mandatory sentence.