The family of the victim of one of two murder convicts who were paroled Wednesday, objected to the inmate’s release, St Lucia Times has been informed.
A member of the family of one of the murder victims took issue with reports that there was no objection, calling it ‘a lie’.
According to the family member, relatives were not given the best of opportunity to be present to let the voice of the murder victim be heard through them.
The relative, who lives overseas, in an email to St Lucia Times, said the family had no representation at the parole hearing.
“I was contacted earlier in the year about the process of parole and was allowed to give an impact statement,” it was disclosed.
“Yesterday my brother was contacted and told of the hearing less than 24 hours. He works and had other scheduled appointments.”
“I strongly believe this was well planned out to ensure we were not present. The Parole Board went through the motions of getting in contact with us but but had no plan for us being there.”
An official who spoke to St Lucia Times on condition of anonymity confirmed that the prevailing sentiment of the family was one of objection to parole for the man convicted of killing their father.
However, while expressing sympathy for the loss, the official explained that the parole legislation is not designed to require consent of family members before parole is granted.
“Several factors are carefully considered and that includes the sentiments of the family,” according to the official.
“It is not that the sentiments are not considered.”
The official also said that the sentiments of surviving family members who object are taken into account in determining strict conditions of parole which if violated, could result in suspension or revocation of the initiative.
It was also disclosed that the legislation allows closed hearings.
Two men who received life sentences for murder and served over 20 years, were on Wednesday granted parole by Saint Lucia’s Parole Board.
Both men are 47 years old.
Existing legislation does not allow for disclosure of release dates and the identification of the parolees.
Headline photo caption: Bordelais Correctional Facility (File photo)