(BARBADOS TODAY) – The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will on Wednesday begin hearings in the appeals brought by convicted Barbadian murderers Dwayne Omar Severin and Jabari Sensimania Nervais.
Severin is on death row for the November 30, 2009 murder of Virgil Barton in Lucas Street, St Phillip.
Nervaise, of 3rd Avenue, Sisnett Road, Bannister Land, St Michael, was found guilty of murdering Jason Ricardo Burnett on November 17, 2006.
The two had challenged their convictions on the grounds that they were unsafe and unsatisfactory and that the mandatory death sentence was unconstitutional and needed to be so declared.
However, their challenges were dismissed by the Court of Appeal in May last year.
The then Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Madame Justice Sandra Mason, ruled that the mandatory death penalty had been preserved in Section 26 of the Constitution, and judges could not determine whether it should remain on the country’s law books.
She noted that such a decision was up to Parliament, which had the power under the Constitution to amend Section 2 of the Offences Against The Person Act to give sentencing judges the discretion on imposing the death penalty.