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Too soon to say if an execution will take place, says Gonsalves

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Although repairs are being done to the gallows at Fort Charlotte, it is still uncertain if a hanging will take place here soon.{{more}}

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Ralph Gonsalves, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, hinted that the repairs to the facility may just be a procedural exercise, and that the country’s only method of judicial execution may not be put to use any time soon.

“I have to go under the Capital Punishment Procedure Act, to do certain things procedurally…. Under the law, when any person or persons is or are in a situation where the possibility of the death penalty may be applied, the Director of Public Prosecution must inform the Attorney General; the Attorney General will inform me.

“I have obligations. If I am so informed; I have to ask the Permanent Secretary what is the condition of gallows,” Dr Gonsalves explained.

Speculations that convicted child murderer Patrick Lovelace, who was sentenced to death for the 2002 killing of Lokeisha Nanton, may be the first person to be executed in over 17 years, prompted the Prime Minister to inform the nation that all steps have not yet taken place.

“…. For instance, the judge has to be written, who did the sentencing so that he could provide a report.

“The Committee of Mercy has to be informed. Then when you reach the stage where full consideration is being given, the individual will have to have an opportunity to have a presentation made, not necessarily in person, to the Prerogative of Mercy.”

According to the Prime Minister, all steps concerning any execution are being taken according to law, and it is too soon to say if an executions will take place.

“It’s not that the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines or the Prime Minister is about to ask the Governor General to sign the death warrant of anybody, no. It is that persons with responsibilities have to do certain things. That’s all.(JJ)

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