From death row to freedom – Earl Pratt
June 1, 2007
From death row to freedom – Earl Pratt

JAMAICA – More than a decade after the United Kingdom Judicial Committee of the Privy Council recommended that his death sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment in a landmark ruling for the Caribbean, Earl Pratt was released from prison last month.{{more}}

The Department of Correctional Services after awaiting a formal notification regarding the status of parole applicants for May 2007, released Pratt.

The Gleaner understands that Pratt, now in his 50s, and another high-profile inmate, Mary Lynch, 62, who was convicted for killing her husband in the early 1990s, were released last Friday.

The 1994 Privy Council ruling was a landmark case for Pratt and his long-time friend, Ivan Morgan, who later died of natural causes in prison. Both were sentenced to death for the October 6, 1977 murder of Junior Bissick. On three separate occasions the death warrant was read to them and they were removed to the condemned cells, located next door the gallows, at the St. Catherine correctional facility, the maximum-security prison in the parish.

But after waiting more than five years to be executed, the U.K. Privy Council cited a breach of their constitutional rights, under Section 17 (1) of the Constitution Act, which provides that ‘no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment’. This was after they had appealed the case. (Jamaica Gleaner)