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Murderers appeal to CCJ

SHERRYLYN TOPPIN, [email protected]

Murderers appeal to CCJ

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Two Barbadians convicted of murder will today challenge the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the constitutionality of the mandatory death sentence before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The case, which will be heard at the court based in Trinidad and Tobago, is a consolidation of appeals from Dwayne Omar Severin and Jabari Sensimania Nervais, who were sentenced to death in separate murder trials.

Severin, formerly of Crane, St Philip, was found guilty of killing Virgil Barton, on November 30, 2009, near his home at Lucas Street in the same parish.

In February 2012, a 12-member jury found Nervais, formerly of 3rd Avenue, Sisnett Road, Bannister Land, St Michael, guilty of murdering Jason Ricardo Burton on November 17, 2006. Burton lived at Perseverance Drive, Jackson, St Michael.

Both were sentenced to hang.

Last May, acting president of the Court of Appeal, then Justice of Appeal Sandra Mason, dismissed the appeals of Nervais and Severin. She said Parliament would have to make the necessary changes to Section 2 of the Offences Against The Person Act, if the death penalty were to be placed at the discretion of sentencing judges.

Late Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, who appeared on behalf of the Crown, said the ruling confirmed the 2003 decision of the Privy Council that judges should not be the ones determining whether the death penalty was unconstitutional.

Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, who represented Nervais, said he would appeal to the CCJ to bring closure to the death penalty issue.

The case will be streamed live. (SAT)