The President of the Iyonola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR) has called for the early release of some inmates, in the wake of this week’s historic paroling of two murder convicts.
The men, both aged 47, are expected to be released soon.
ICAR President ,Aaron ‘Ras Iron’ Alexander, observed that while the murder convicts have been granted parole, other inmates are languishing on remand for ‘misdemeanors’ and ‘petty crimes’.
“I note that as human beings from time to time we will make mistakes,” Alexander told St Lucia Times.
“If we are kind hearted we could forgive, but I daresay we should never forget,” the ICAR President asserted.
He expressed the view that since the Parole Board has decided to eventually release two murder convicts who have each served some 20 years in jail, it gives confidence that other inmates, especially those who are incarcerated for petty crimes, could get some reprieve.
Alexander made specific reference to individuals who are in jail for the possession of small quantities of cannabis.
“I believe these people should be released immediately,” the ICAR official declared.
Alexander also asserted that their criminal record should be expunged.
“We are hearing that legislation is being drafted by the Attorney General’s office as we speak, so we as a Rastafari community as the nation knows, we have been patient and we continue to be patient,” he told St Lucia Times.
Alexander recalled that his organisation has filed a constitutional claim against the Office of the Attorney General to respect the rights of Rastafarians regarding cannabis.
He disclosed that the next hearing in the ongoing case will be held in January.
“We believe we will emerge victorious because we remain confident in the victory of good over evil,’ Alexander stated.
He questioned whether the Allen Chastanet administration is serious about legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis.