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Death Penalty A Must: 86 killers get reprieve

Death Penalty A Must: 86 killers get reprieve
Eight months after the Privy Council found that this country's death penalty was not a mandatory sentence, the Council reversed itself yesterday, saying that it was up to Parliament to make such a change.

The judgment, on the appeal of convicted murder Charles Matthew, means that anyone found guilty of murder after yesterday will automatically be sentenced to hang. However, the 86 prisoners currently awaiting execution have been granted a reprieve.

Since they had been given the hope of being re-sentenced following the first judgment-on the appeal of convicted murderer Balkisoon Roodal-it would be a "cruel punishment" to now affirm the death sentences, so their sentences were all commuted to life imprisonment, the Council ruled.
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