New Mercy Committee appointed
A new Mercy Committee has been appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution.
The committee, which goes by the official name, the “Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy,” is headed by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Steadroy Benjamin. It also consists of the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rhonda Sealy-Thomas, Solicitor General Martin Camacho, Head of the Prison Visiting Committee Bishop Charlesworth Browne, and a nominee from Leader of the Opposition Jamale Pringle.
The functions of the committee are spelt out in Section 86 of the Constitution. It reads in part: “Where an offender has been sentenced to death by any court for an offence against any law, the Minister shall cause a written report of the case from the trial judge (or the Chief Justice, if a report from the trial judge cannot be obtained) together with such other information derived from the record of the case or elsewhere as the Minister may require, to be taken into consideration at a meeting of the Advisory Committee.
“(2) The Minister may consult with the Advisory Committee before tendering any advice to the Governor-General under section 84(2) of this Constitution in any case not falling within subsection (1) of this section.
“(3) The Minister shall not be obliged in any case to act in accordance with the advice of the Advisory Committee.
“(4) The Advisory Committee may regulate its own procedure.”
The committee’s appointment runs from 19th January 2021 to January 2023.