From the Courts
July 2, 2004
Judgement reserved – Charles, O’Garro in suspense

The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal has reserved its judgement in an appeal case brought by lawyers for death-row inmates, Ken Charles and Leonard O’Garro who were found guilty of the 2002 murder of Ronald Lewis.{{more}}
Charles’ lawyer, Nicole Sylvester appealed against his conviction and sentence, citing material irregularities in the investigative process and the trial. She pointed out that a photograph should have been taken at the identification parade so as to reflect how fairly it was conducted. She said it would show whether the persons selected for the parade were of similar height and build or whether the accused persons, who were a part of that parade, stood out like sore thumbs.
Sylvester said that there was prejudicial content in the social report by Cammie Matthews which alleged that the two accused were serial killers.
She also contended that there was an irregularity in sentencing when the trial Judge imposed the death sentence on the accused in the absence of a psychiatric evaluation report he had ordered prior to the sentencing.
In lieu of the absence of the psychiatric report, it has been decided that the accused will have to undergo another sentencing phase.
O’Garro’s lawyer, Richard Williams, argued that Charles’ statement to police was inadmissible because it was not given voluntarily. He contended that the trial was unfair and the conviction unsafe and unsatisfactory because the evidence led by the prosecution regarding Charles’ statement was highly prejudicial against O’Garro and should not have been put to the jury. He also argued that during the trial evidence of the accused’ previous convictions was allowed to be led, resulting in prejudice.