Governor General Sir Rodney Williams will be asked to pardon a US visitor who is back home after serving a day at Her Majesty’s Prison on an ammunition conviction.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the decision will be taken “out of an abundance of caution” after the Bar Council pointed out that the manner in which Shannon Martinez was released was unlawful.
“I asked (the Attorney General) to write to the Governor General and to ask for a pardon on behalf of Miss Martinez,” Browne said on state media Wednesday night.
Martinez was sentenced to serve one year in jail after she pleaded guilty of ammunition possession.
However, the prison boss Albert Wade said he acted alone and recommended to the Attorney General that the woman is released.
Prime minister Browne said tonight that he called the Attorney General about a possible solution to the “problem” within the confines of the law.
Browne revealed that the AG, “Consulted with the superintendent and others.”
The Prime Minister revealed that the AG is still of the view that he acted properly when he released the woman.
It is the Bar Council’s view that the law as it currently stands does not vest in any Minister of Government nor in the Superintendent of Prisons the right to commute a sentence to less than 31 days, even where there may be “special circumstances”.
Browne said the release of the American was done to avoid a diplomatic “nightmare” which had the potential to harm the tourism industry with negative publicity.
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