Prosecution considers cassation against overturned life sentences

POSTED: 10/2/12 1:46 PM

St. Maarten – The Public Prosecutor’s Office seriously considers cassation against the Common Court of Justice’s decision to overturn the life sentences of Regatta-killers Sherwan Roberts and Curtley Allison Richardson. “We are examining whether we have a chance at the Supreme Court,” Solicitor-General mr. Taco Stein told this newspaper yesterday.

The prosecutor’s office has three weeks to file for cassation from the date of the court ruling. The deadline for cassation is next week Tuesday.

Richards and Roberts were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Court in First Instance in December of last year for killing Ludovic Guillevin, Eduardo Nova Valdez and Foidel Louis – repeatedly raping a young woman, ill-treating another one and robbing three men. All crimes were committed between February 25 and March 5 of last year.

On September 18, the Common Court of Justice overturned the verdict and sentenced the two men to the maximum temporary prison sentence of 30 years.

The judges rule that life imprisonment is “incompatible” with article 3 of the Human Rights Treaty of the convict is reprieved of any perspective for release.

The judges also involve the social and political situation in St. Maarten in their ruling: “It cannot be said that currently in Sint Maarten the social or political will exists to take the right to a pardon as point of departure for very serious crimes.”

The parliament of St. Maarten removed an article from the new criminal code earlier this year that gave convicts with a life sentence the right to a sentence review after twenty years.

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