Death Row appeal rejected

LOVELL White Durrant partner Graham Huntley has lost his appeal to the Privy Council in a test case which may determine the fate of many of Jamaica's death row prisoners.

Huntley has been acting on a pro bono basis for a prisoner who has been on death row for “capital murder” for 11 years.

Huntley argued that the distinction between ” capital” and “non-capital” murder, which carries life imprisonment, was unconstitutional and unfair in that it breached the rules of natural justice.

The Privy Council rejected these arguments, but Huntley's client Albert Huntley (the two are not related ) is unlikely to be hanged because of an earlier Privy Council decision that those on death row for more than five years should have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

This leaves the 30 to 50 prisoners on death row for less than five years charged with “capital murder” with an uncertain future.