GG will be asked to pardon American tourist already freed


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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  1. OK. Legal provisions manipulated or ignored, and diplomatic nightmare avoided. We have our brownie points from the world bully. Now, where is our WTO money?? * crickets suddenly appear”

    Really hard to have to ‘kay’ bout people that manifestly nuh kay ’bout you tawl nuh.

    I’m just sorry it took a tourist to show us why drafting laws without judicial discretion, is not ever a good idea.

  2. will the real worl boss standup now

    Talk bout big fish in little pond

    If we can’t even imprison an American who broke our laws for fear of big brother up north how are we going to get that 200 million wto settlement

    What a bunch a no balls ass wipes we have running our country. Dem only hab trans for Jamaican and picky head Antiguan

    Dem flap dem flap dem flap dem flopped
    Lord help us

  3. While I do understand the PM point about not wanting this to be an international issue with the almighty USA, The law is the law. How many Antiguans are presently in prison in America for gun possession charges. One such name comes to mind (Mr. Kevin Guishard) who got held on a gun possession charge after random search and he was found with a gun. He’s been serving over 12 years or more and no matter how his family appealed to the state of NY and our local government nothing was and has not been done neither from there end nor ours yet we found it appreciate and so easy to pardon one of their citizens.
    Justice for all

  4. So the American tourist broke the law and tne magistrate did what she had to do. American went to jail for a year and to avoid diplomatic issues the American was released in a day perhaps without following the proper channels.

    While the law did not provide proper discretionary powers to the magistrate, it seems as though the American was released without using proper discretion on the govt side. I think the PM should just apologize for the error which was done in good faith and move on.

    By moving on i also mean correcting any law similar to this one and to review cases where other persons might have suffered because of similar circumstances.

    I really dont think that we would want to pick a fight with the USA for a small matter like this. Although we may want to see justice for all, some of us would not want to go through any sacrifice needed when a fight begins. We people sounded as though the world was coming to an end when Canada removed visa free access. To be humble is not a sign of weakness. The Japanese were very humble to the USA allowing them to provide military protection instead of investing in their own and then became an economic giant.

  5. This was handled badly from the onset and I believe in any proper country, both the prison boss and the Att General would have resigned. I hope this is a lesson for the PM and I further hope that there would be no referendum this November as it would be a terrible waste of the countries resources.

  6. How can there be any negative buplicity which would harm tourism, when the Americans understand the laws concerning ammunition better than the ANTIGUANS. Americans are locked up all over the world for breaking various countries laws, and when it happens there’s no publicity because it’s an embarrassing situation for them. We can’t afford to treat the Americans as though there laws are more important than ours, whereby they lock us up for the same crime and start deportation proceedings. This is a sovereign country and we must uphold the laws for all who breaks them, including the Americans in particular ( meaning the government ) who cares little about FOREIGNERS. Just look at what’s happening now in America with their immigration laws. MR PRIME MINISTER, YOU’RE NOT ACTING WISELY CONCERNING THIS SITUATION. THE AMERICAN TOURIST WILL SEE US AS BEING SOFT ON CRIME WHEN WE SHOULD BE TOUGH. It was an American from Texas who shot about 5 people down at West buss station in the 70s, I was a young boy then and still remember. HOW MUCH TIME DID HE GET?? NONE!! What a shame.

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