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Jamaica: Death Penalty/Legal concern

, Index number: AMR 38/007/1999

Steve Shaw, Desmond Taylor, Beresford Whyte. Steve Shaw and Desmond Taylor, who were scheduled to be hanged on 13 April 1999, have had their stays of execution extended until 4 May so that the Jamaican Court of Appeal can hear their constitutional motions. The Jamaican High Court had dismissed their constitutional motions on 12 April, but granted a stay of execution until 16 April. Beresford Whyte, who was scheduled to be hanged on 15 April, was granted a 10-day stay of execution that day, after a constitutional motion was filed on his behalf in the Jamaican High Court.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 38/07/99
15 April 1999
Further information on Extra 50/99 (AMR 38/05/99, 9 April 1999) and follow-up
(AMR 38/06/99, 13 April 1999) - Death Penalty / Legal Concern
JAMAICASteve Shaw
Desmond Taylor
Beresford Whyte
Steve Shaw and Desmond Taylor, who were scheduled to be hanged on 13 April
1999, have had their stays of execution extended until 4 May so that the Jamaican
Court of Appeal can hear their constitutional motions. The Jamaican High Court
had dismissed their constitutional motions on 12 April, but granted a stay
of execution until 16 April.
Beresford Whyte, who was scheduled to be hanged on 15 April, was granted a
10-day stay of execution that day, after a constitutional motion was filed
on his behalf in the Jamaican High Court.
Please continue to send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters in
English or in your own language in accordance with the original urgent action:
- expressing deep concern that Steve Shaw and Desmond Taylor were scheduled to be
hanged on 13 April 1999 and Beresford Whyte was scheduled to be hanged on 15 April
1999;
- urging that their death sentences be commuted in accordance with the recommendations
of the Human Rights Committee, and reminding the government that not to do so would
violate Article 6 of the ICCPR;
- reminding the government that it is still obliged to provide an effective remedy
to people whose rights under the ICCPR have been violated, and to take account of
the Human Rights Committee’s recommendations in individual cases;
- expressing sympathy for the victims of violent crime and their relatives, but
voicing opposition to the death penalty in all cases as a violation of the right
to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment;
- stating the death penalty has never been shown to deter crime more effectively
than other punishment and brutalizes all involved in its application;
- stating that imposing the death penalty does not necessarily alleviate the suffering
of the victims of violent crime;
- stating that execution is irrevocable and, despite the most stringent judicial
safeguards, can be inflicted on the innocent.
APPEALS TO:
Prime Minister The Rt Hon P. J. Patterson, PC, QC, MP, Office of the Prime Minister,
Jamaica House, 1 Devon Road, Kingston 6, Jamaica
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Kingston, Jamaica
E-mails: jis@jamaica-info.com
Faxes: + 1 876 929 0005
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Attorney General The Hon A. J. Nicholson, Attorney General’s Department
79-83 Barry St., PO Box 456, Kingston, Jamaica
Telegrams: Attorney General, Kingston, Jamaica
Faxes: + 1 876 922 5109
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
2
Governor General H E The Most Honourable Sir Howard Cooke, ON, GCMG, GCVD, CD, Office
of the Governor General, King's House, Hope Road, Kingston 6
Jamaica
Telegrams: Governor General, Kingston, Jamaica
Faxes: + 1 876 927 4561
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO: Minister of Foreign Affairs The Hon Seymour Mullings, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, 21 Dominica Drive, Kingston 5, Jamaica
Faxes: + 1 876 929 6733
and to the diplomatic representative of Jamaica in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.

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