Mary Francis Hails Historic Parole Hearings For Murder Convicts

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Human Rights advocate, Mary Francis, has welcomed news that on Wednesday for the first time ever, Saint Lucia will be holding parole hearings.

Two murder convicts will come before the Parole Board.

“I think it’s a good thing – it was long in the making,” Francis told reporters on Tuesday.

She spoke of the need for human rights education, noting that the murder convicts have done wrong in the acts they committed and served over twenty years in jail.

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Francis said in some countries life imprisonment for murder is a term of fifteen years.

“We have to change this culture of punishment, punishment, punishment,” she observed.

The Attorney at Law recalled that it’s been over ten years that she has been hearing about the Parole Board which has since been established and is operational.

She expressed the view that the parole hearings represent a good move in terms of rehabilitating individuals who have been incarcerated.

“It also will help the government to reduce the overpopulation at the Bordelais Correctional Facility,” Francis asserted.

She also feels the move will save money since it is costly to keep people in jail.

At the same time, the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights told reporters that Saint Lucians will have to understand the concept of releasing inmates before they serve their time.

“We also have to consider the death penalty along with the whole idea of parole. If we’re talking about increasing human rights and so forth, the right to life is the first and foremost human right so that has to also be considered,” she explained.

The Department of Home Affairs and National Security on Saturday announced that the first ever parole hearings will be conducted on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at Bordelais Correctional Facility for  two murder convicts.

It said two male inmates who have served over 20 years of their custodial sentences for murder will have their cases heard by the seven member Parole Board.

“Both eligible inmates are 47 years old and may stand a chance of going home under specific terms and conditions to which they must adhere,” according to the statement.

Headline photo caption: Mary Francis (Stock photo)

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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