Death Penalty Database

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Information current as of: January 23, 2011

General

Official Country Name

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis (Saint Kitts and Nevis). [1]

Geographical Region

Latin America (Caribbean). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [3]

Methods of Execution

Hanging. [4]

References

[1] U.S. Department of State, Background Note: Saint Kitts and Nevis, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2341.htm, Nov. 9, 2009.
[2] U.N., World Macro Regions and Components, U.N. Doc. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/29, 2000.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 17, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009; The Associated Press, St. Kitts hangs man in rare execution, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28318631/, Dec. 20, 2008.
[4] The Associated Press, St. Kitts hangs man in rare execution, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28318631/, Dec. 20, 2008.

Country Details

Language(s)

English. [1]

Population

39,129. [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

7. Amnesty International reported 7 individuals on death row (in 2009). [3]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on October 18, 2017)

0. [4]

Executions in 2016

0. [5]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [6]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [7]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [8]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [11]

Executions in 2009

0. [12]

Executions in 2008

1. [13]

Executions in 2007

0. [14]

Year of Last Known Execution

2008. [15]

References

[1] U.S. Department of State, Background Note: Saint Kitts and Nevis, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2341.htm, Nov. 9, 2009.
[2] U.S. Department of State, Background Note: Saint Kitts and Nevis, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2341.htm, Nov. 9, 2009.
[3] Amnesty Intl., St Kitts and Nevis: Death Penalty / Legal Concern, AMR 59/001/2009, Feb. 12, 2009.
[4] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[5] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[6] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 17, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentence and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 17, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009; The Associated Press, St. Kitts hangs man in rare execution, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28318631/, Dec. 20, 2008.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
The Constitution allows for the sentence of death for the crimes of “treason or murder.” [1] At least one sentencing decision of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court [for Saint Christopher (Kitts) and Nevis] references the constitutional principle that the death penalty may only be applied to the “most exceptional and extreme cases of murder.” [2]

Treason.
The Constitution provides for the sentence of death for the crimes of “treason or murder.” [3] We did not find the criminal law of Saint Kitts and Nevis or any sentencing decisions relevant to whether the death penalty is still enabled by law for treason.

Comments.
The Constitution provides for the sentence of death for the crimes of “treason or murder.” [4] This precludes crimes distinct from treason or murder from being death-eligible, but does not create a death penalty for the various forms of murder or treason. Instead, this constitutional provision allows national legislation regarding those offenses. We were unable to find the national legislation that enables, defines or limits application of the death penalty for murder or treason. We are uncertain whether the death penalty applies for treason. In the case of murder, we were able to locate a sentencing decision in which all parties and the court acknowledged a constitutional legal limit on application of the death penalty to the “most exceptional and extreme cases of murder,” or, aggravated murder. [5]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

No. [6] In 2001, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal ruled that the mandatory death penalty “robs [defendants] of any opportunity whatsoever to consider mitigating circumstances even as an irrevocable punishment is meted out to them.” [7] In 2002, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Berthill Fox v. The Queen adopted this principle for Saint Kitts and Nevis, stating that the mandatory death penalty violates the constitutional protection against inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [8] In Saint Kitts and Nevis, these decisions limit application of the death penalty (for murder) to the worst aggravated murders. [9]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

The mandatory death penalty has been struck down in Saint Kitts and Nevis. [10]

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

Aggravated Murder.
Charles Elroy LaPlace was executed on December 19, 2008 for killing his estranged wife; he had abducted and held her, and he stabbed her to death as she attempted to escape. [11]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Saint Kitts and Nevis has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. [12] Additionally, the Offences against the Person Act 1873 (as amended), which may be applicable, prohibits the death sentence for individuals who were under 18 at the time of the crime’s commission. [13]

Comments.
As of August 5, 2010, we lacked statutory resources to fully answer this question. Given that Saint Kitts and Nevis derives from the Commonwealth legal tradition, it is highly likely that individuals below the age of 18 at the time of the crime, pregnant women, the intellectually disabled and the mentally ill are at least somewhat protected from execution.

References

[1] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 4(1), No. 881 of Jun. 23, 1983.
[2] Director of Public Prosecutions v. Wycliffe Liburd, paras. 18, 27, Suit No. SKBHCR 2009/0007, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Oct. 22, 2009; Wilson v. The Queen, Civil Appeal No. 30 of 2004, para. 17, Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, Nov. 28, 2005.
[3] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 4(1), Jun. 23, 1983.
[4] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 4(1), Jun. 23, 1983.
[5] Director of Public Prosecutions v. Wycliffe Liburd, paras. 18, 27, Suit No. SKBHCR 2009/0007, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Oct. 22, 2009; Wilson v. The Queen, Civil Appeal No. 30 of 2004, para. 17, Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, Nov. 28, 2005.
[6] Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, pp. 107, 282, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008; Spence v. The Queen, p. 24, Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 1998, Court of Appeal, 2001.
[7] Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, pp. 107, 282, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008; Spence v. The Queen, p. 24, para. 215, Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 1998, Court of Appeal, 2001.
[8] Fox v. The Queen, paras. 8, 10, Privy Council Appeal no. 66 of 2000, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 2002.
[9] Director of Public Prosecutions v. Wycliffe Liburd, para. 18, Suit No. SKBHCR 2009/0007, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Oct. 22, 2009.
[10] Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, pp. 107, 282, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008; Spence v. The Queen, p. 24, Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 1998, Court of Appeal, 2001.
[11] The Associated Press, St. Kitts hangs man in rare execution, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28318631/, Dec. 20, 2008; WinnFM, LaPlace Hanged, http://www.winnfm.com/news2.asp?NewsID=2978, Dec. 19, 2008.
[12] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Conv. on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[13] Greene Browne v. The Queen, pp. 1-2, Privy Council Appeal No. 3 of 1998, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 1999.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

No. [1]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [2]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

No. [3]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [4]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [5]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [6]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

No. [7]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [8]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

No. [9]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [10]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [11]

Vote

Against. [12]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [13]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [14]

Vote

Against. [15]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [16]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [17]

Vote

Against. [18]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [19]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [20]

Vote

Against. [21]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [22]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [23]

Vote

Against. [24]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [25]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [26]

Vote

Against. [27]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [28]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[7] Status, Declarations, Reservations, Denunciations, Withdrawals, B-32: Amer. Conv. on Human Rights, Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica, Nov. 22, 1969, http://cidh.oas.org/basicos/english/basic4.amer.conv.ratif.htm, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[8] Status, Declarations, Reservations, Denunciations, Withdrawals, B-32: Amer. Conv. on Human Rights, Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica, Nov. 22, 1969, http://cidh.oas.org/basicos/english/basic4.amer.conv.ratif.htm, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[9] Status, Declarations, Reservations, Denunciations, Withdrawals, A-53: Prot. to the Amer. Conv. on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty, Jun. 8, 1990, http://cidh.oas.org/basicos/english/basic8.death%20penalty%20ratif.htm, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[10] Status, Declarations, Reservations, Denunciations, Withdrawals, A-53: Prot. to the Amer. Conv. on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty, Jun. 8, 1990, http://cidh.oas.org/basicos/english/basic8.death%20penalty%20ratif.htm, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[11] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[12] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[13] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[14] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[15] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[16] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[17] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[18] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[19] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[20] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[21] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[22] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[23] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[24] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[25] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[26] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[27] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[28] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

The Constitution implies a death penalty in Article 4, which guarantees the right to life except when he has been convicted of murder or treason under a law. [1] Article 28(1)(e) disqualifies the election or appointment of death-sentenced prisoners to public office. [2] Article 31(4)(a) states that an elected or appointed official must cease to perform the functions of his office if he is under the sentence of death and vacate his seat thirty days after sentencing with some extensions given by the Speaker for time to appeal. [3] Article 66 outlines the pardoning powers of the Governor-General [4] and article 67 establishes the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy. [5] Article 68(1) mandates the automatic consideration of death-sentenced prisoners for clemency, by the Committee established in articles 66 and 67. [6]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

The constitution does not address the protection of human rights under international law.

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

Executions are rare in Saint Kitts and Nevis. The last execution occurred on December 19, 2008, [7] which was the first hanging since 1985. [8]

In 1993, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled in Pratt and Morgan v. Jamaica that a five-year delay of execution after sentencing is presumptively “inhuman and degrading punishment.” [9] Courts have observed that because the appeals process tends to take more than 5 years, the effect of Pratt is to limit executions. [10] Saint Kitts and Nevis carried out its most recent execution in 2008 only after a defense attorney missed a deadline to file an appeal, thus opening the door for execution. [11]

In 2001, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal ruled in Spence and Hughes v. The Queen that the mandatory death penalty “robs [defendants] of any opportunity whatsoever to consider mitigating circumstances even as an irrevocable punishment is meted out to them.” [12] In 2002, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Berthill Fox v. The Queen adopted this principle for Saint Kitts and Nevis, stating that the mandatory death penalty violates the constitutional protection against inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [13]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No. [14]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

In 2001, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal ruled in Spence and Hughes v. The Queen (appeals from sentences of death in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) that the mandatory death penalty “robs [defendants] of any opportunity whatsoever to consider mitigating circumstances even as an irrevocable punishment is meted out to them.” [15] In 2002, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Berthill Fox v. The Queen adopted this principle for Saint Kitts and Nevis, stating that the mandatory death penalty violates constitutional protections against inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [16] In Saint Kitts and Nevis, these decisions limit application of the death penalty to the worst aggravated murders. [17]

In 1993, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled in Pratt and Morgan v. Jamaica that a five-year delay of execution after sentencing is presumptively “inhuman and degrading punishment.” [18] Courts have observed that because the appeals process tends to take more than 5 years, the effect of Pratt is to limit executions. [19]

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, a regional court for nine member states, publishes judgments here: http://www.eccourts.org/judgments.html. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council publishes its judgments at http://www.jcpc.gov.uk/decided-cases/index.html (starting in August 2009) and http://www.privy-council.org.uk/output/Page31.asp (before August 2009).

What is the clemency process?

The Constitution outlines the clemency process in articles 66-68. A Minister appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister may control or highly influence the Governor-General’s exercise of the prerogative of mercy. That Minister, prior to the execution of a sentence of death, must obtain a report from the trial judge and other helpful information and submit it to the Advisory Committee, which makes a recommendation on the prerogative of mercy to the Minister. The Minister, who need not act in accordance with that recommendation, [20] advises the Governor-General on his exercise of the prerogative of mercy. The Governor-General may then pardon an offender or stay or commute a sentence, acting “in accordance with the advice of [the] Minister.” [21]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

Yes. Jury trials are used in criminal cases in the High Court. [22]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Capital trials are heard by the High Court and may be appealed to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, and finally to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the United Kingdom. [23]

References

[1] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 4(1), No. 881 of Jun. 23, 1983.
[2] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 28(1)(e), No. 881 of Jun. 23, 1983.
[3] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 31(4)(a), No. 881 of Jun. 23, 1983.
[4] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 66, No. 881 of Jun. 23, 1983.
[5] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 67, No. 881 of Jun. 23, 1983.
[6] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 68(1), No. 881 of Jun. 23, 1983.
[7] The Associated Press, St. Kitts hangs man in rare execution, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28318631/, Dec. 20, 2008.
[8] Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 105, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008; Amnesty Intl., St Kitts and Nevis: First hanging in 13 years -a backward step for the Caribbean, AMR 59/01/98, Jul. 20, 1998.
[9] Pratt and Morgan v. Jamaica, pp. 26-27, Privy Council Appeal No. 10 of 1993, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 1993.
[10] Attorney General v. Boyce, paras. 15, 47, 117, 126, 131, 138-139, Appeal No. CV 2 of 2005, Caribbean Court of Justice, Jun. 21, 2006 (discussing the effect of the 5-year limit imposed by Pratt).
[11] Afua Hirsch, Man Hanged in Rare St. Kitts Execution had not Exhausted Appeals Rights, say Campaigners, Guardian.co.uk, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/23/capital-punishment-human-rights-caribbean, Dec. 23, 2008.
[12] Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, pp. 107, 282, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008; Spence v. The Queen, p. 24, para. 215, Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 1998, Court of Appeal, 2001.
[13] Fox v. The Queen, paras. 8, 10, Privy Council Appeal no. 66 of 2000, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 2002.
[14] The Associated Press, St. Kitts hangs man in rare execution, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28318631/, Dec. 20, 2008.
[15] Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, pp. 107, 282, Oxford University Press, 2008; Spence v. The Queen, p. 24 & para. 215, Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 1998, Court of Appeal, 2001.
[16] Fox v. The Queen, paras. 8, 10, Privy Council Appeal no. 66 of 2000, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 2002.
[17] Director of Public Prosecutions v. Wycliffe Liburd, generally, Suit No. SKBHCR 2009/0007, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Oct. 22, 2009.
[18] Pratt and Morgan v. Jamaica, pp. 26-27, Privy Council Appeal No. 10 of 1993, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 1993.
[19] Attorney General v. Boyce, paras. 15, 47, 117, 126, 131, 138-139, Appeal No. CV 2 of 2005, Caribbean Court of Justice, Jun. 21, 2006 (discussing the effect of the 5-year limit imposed by Pratt).
[20] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 68(1), 1983 no. 881, Jun. 23, 1983.
[21] Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983, art. 66, 1983 no. 881, Jun. 23, 1983.
[22] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/wha/136124.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[23] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/wha/136124.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Reports indicate that death-sentenced prisoners are incarcerated in Her Majesty’s Prison in Basseterre, the capital of Saint Kitts and Nevis. [1]

Description of Prison Conditions

The U.S. State Department reports that prisons in Saint Kitts and Nevis are overcrowded, forcing some prisoners to sleep on floor mats. Prisons remained overcrowded, and facilities austere. Built in 1840, the prison on Saint Kitts had an intended capacity of 150 prisoners but held 259 prisoners; some prisoners slept on mats on the floor. There were separate facilities for men and women. The prison staff periodically received training in human rights. [2] Other reports indicate that conditions immediately prior to execution may be extremely distressing—the evening before the most recent execution, Charles Laplace was bound hand and foot and cast on a mattress in his cell while prison guards threw a drunken “gallows party,” singing into the early morning. [3]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

As of July 30, 2010, there are no reports of foreign nationals on Saint Kitts and Nevis’ death row. [4]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

As of July 30, 2010, there are no reports of foreign nationals on Saint Kitts and Nevis’ death row. [5]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

As of July 30, 2010, all known death row inmates are male. [6]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

As of July 30, 2010, there are no known individuals currently under the sentence of death who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime’s commission. Saint Kitts and Nevis has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, [7] which prohibits the execution of individuals for crimes committed while under the age of 18.

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

Reports that list inmates on death row do not comment on the racial/ethnic composition of death row. [8]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Yes. In fact, indigent defendants have access to legal counsel only in capital cases. [9]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

As of August 5, 2010, we did not determine whether lawyers are available for indigent prisoners on appeal.

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

It is reported that Charles Elroy Laplace, executed on December 19, 2008, did not exhaust all of his appellate remedies. Laplace’s attorney missed the deadline to file an appeal and Laplace subsequently fired him. Laplace was unrepresented at the time of his execution. [10]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

We have no other comments on the criminal justice system upon completion of our research.

References

[1] David Jones, Return of the noose : St Kitts has just hanged its first man for a decade and believes it is the only way to beat violent crime, The Daily Mail, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1110973/Return-noose-St-Kitts-just-hanged-man-decade-believes-way-beat-violent-crime.html, Jan. 12, 2009.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/wha/136124.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[3] David Jones, Return of the noose : St Kitts has just hanged its first man for a decade and believes it is the only way to beat violent crime, The Daily Mail, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1110973/Return-noose-St-Kitts-just-hanged-man-decade-believes-way-beat-violent-crime.html, Jan. 12, 2009.
[4] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, May 7, 2010.
[5] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, May 7, 2010.
[6] Amnesty Intl., St Kitts and Nevis: Death Penalty / Legal Concern, AMR 59/001/2009, Feb. 12, 2009.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Conv. on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[8] Amnesty Intl., St Kitts and Nevis: Death Penalty / Legal Concern, AMR 59/001/2009, Feb. 12, 2009.
[9] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/wha/136124.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[10] Amnesty Intl., St Kitts and Nevis: Death Penalty / Legal Concern, AMR 59/001/2009, Feb. 12, 2009; Afua Hirsch, Man hanged in rare St Kitts execution had not exhausted appeal rights, say campaigners, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/23/capital-punishment-human-rights-caribbean, Dec. 23, 2008.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

Saint Kitts and Nevis is not a party to the ICCPR, [1] so the Human Rights Committee does not issue observations pursuant to periodic review or decisions on petitions filed by individuals.

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

Saint Kitts and Nevis will be reviewed through the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process on January 28, 2011. [2]

References

[1] Universal Periodic Review, Saint Kitts and Nevis, http://www.upr-info.org/-Saint-Kitts-and-Nevis-.html, 2010; Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Jul. 30, 2010.
[2] Universal Periodic Review, Saint Kitts and Nevis, http://www.upr-info.org/-Saint-Kitts-and-Nevis-.html, 2010.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

None.

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

None.

Helpful Reports and Publications

None.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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