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EXTRA 06/92 - St Christopher and Nevis: death penalty: Bernard Richards, Ronald Browne

, Index number: AMR 59/001/1992

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 59/01/92
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 06/92 Death Penalty 28 January 1992
ST CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS: Bernard RICHARDS
Ronald BROWNE
Bernard Richards and Ronald Browne are scheduled to be executed on 7 February
1992 in St Christopher and Nevis. Bernard Richards, 28, was sentenced to death
in May 1991 for the murder of a 24 year-old man in June 1990. Ronald Browne
was found guilty of murdering his mother, but Amnesty International does not
have the date of his conviction.
From the information available to Amnesty International at this stage it would
seem that their local appeals were rejected but that neither of them has appealed
to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) in London, the final
court of appeal for St Christopher and Nevis. Amnesty International is
concerned that the prisoners may be unaware of the possibility of appealing
to the JCPC or of requesting financial assistance to pursue such an appeal.
Although appeals to the JCPC are not available as of right, Amnesty
International believes that whenever prisoners are sentenced to death they
should be provided with all possible safeguards, including appeals to the JCPC,
as provided for in international standards on the death penalty.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The death penalty is the mandatory sentence for murder in St Christopher and
Nevis. The last execution took place in 1985.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/telephone calls and airmail
letters:
- urging the authorities to commute the death sentences of Bernard Richards
and Ronald Browne.
- expressing concern that these two prisoners do not appear to have exhausted
all their appeals; seking information as to what measures are taken by the
authorities to inform prisoners sentenced to death of the possibility of
appealing to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, which acts
as St Christopher and Nevis' final court of appeal.
- expressing concern that executions maybe resumed after nearly seven years;
highlighting some or all of the following:
* the death penalty has been abolished in five Caribbean countries
* all death sentences have been commuted in Grenada;
* legislation, to at least limit the use of the death penalty, is
being prepared in Jamaica;
* worldwide, over 40 percent of all countries have abolished the
death penalty.
page 2 of EXTRA 06/92
APPEALS TO:
Governor General:
His Excellency
Sir Clement Arrindell, GCMG, KB, QC
Governor General
Government House
Basseterre
ST CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS
West Indies
Telephone: 809 465 2315
Telexes: 6820 extrnlskb kc
Faxes: 809 465 1001 (Please forward to (the Governor
General)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Prime Minister:
The Hon Dr Kennedy Simmonds
Office of the Prime Minister
P O Box 186
Basseterre
ST CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS
West Indies
Telephone: 809 465 2521
Faxes: 809 465 1001 (Please forward to the Prime
Minister)
Telexes: 6820 extrnlskb
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
COPIES TO:
the following newspapers:
The Democrat (weekly, appears on Saturday)
Cayon St
P O Box 30
Basseterre
ST CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS
West Indies
The Labour Spokesman
Masses House, Church St
P O Box 239
Basseterre
ST CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS
West Indies
and to diplomatic representatives of St Christopher and Nevis
in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the
International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending
appeals after 7 February 1992.

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