RESOLUTION Nš 13/84
October 3, 1984
1. On June 12,
1981 Mr. Earl Pratt a Jamaican citizen acting on his own behalf
submitted a communication to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights in which he stated that he was arrested, accused of a crime of
which he had no knowledge, tried, sentenced and condemned to death. In
December 1980, he lost his appeal. Earl Pratt complains of unfair trial.
2. By letter of August 19, 1981, the Commission, in accordance with Articles 29, 32 and 34 of the Regulations then in force requested that the plaintiff supply additional information to satisfy the requirements of the Regulations.
3. The Commission,
by Note of February 17, 1983, transmitted to the Government of Jamaica
the pertinent parts of the communication and, taking into consideration
the fact that the plaintiff, as a Death Row detainee could not furnish
the necessary information and documentation to satisfy the requirements
of the Regulations and also to prove his allegations, requested that the
Government of Jamaica provide information regarding the charges
contained in the denunciation together with any other information which
permit the Commission to determine whether the internal legal remedies
and procedures had been duly applied and exhausted in this case. The
plaintiff was advised of this request by letter of the same date.
4. The Government
of Jamaica, by Note Nš 6/80/1 of July 15, 1983, replied to the
Commission's request and furnished copies of the transcripts of the Home
Circuit Court of Kingston and application for leave to appeal the
conviction and sentence of Earl Pratt. The plaintiff was advised of this
submission by letter of August 31, 1983.
5. By Note of
October 14, 1983, the Commission reiterated its request that the
Government of Jamaica provide within 30 days the notes of the Appeal
Court regarding the case of Earl Pratt.
6. The plaintiff
acknowledged receipt of the Commission's communications by letter of
February 2, 1984.
7. By Note Nš
6/80/1 of March 6, 1984, the Government of Jamaica submitted to the
Commission Criminal Form 17 of the Appeal Court informing that the
conviction and sentence of Earl Pratt had been affirmed on December 5,
1980. The plaintiff was advised of the Government's submission by letter
of March 20, 1984.
1. The information
and documentation submitted to the Commission indicate that all domestic
legal remedies have been exhausted and none of the conditions of
inadmissibility established in the American Convention on Human Rights
were present, therefore, there exists no reason not to declare this case
2. A study of the
transcripts of the Home Circuit Court and the Court of Appeal as well as
of the conduct of the trial of Earl Pratt and review of his case show
that the rules of criminal procedure were observed and that the
plaintiff received a fair trial;
3. That the
plaintiff informed the Commission that he lost his appeal in December
4. During his
trials, Earl Pratt was assisted by defense counsel;
5. The documents
submitted to the Commission show that the requirements of due process
have been fulfilled.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. To declare that
there exists no evidence of the alleged violations of the American
Convention on Human Rights as claimed by the plaintiff;
2. To communicate
this Resolution to the Government of Jamaica and to the plaintiff; and
3. To recommend
that the Government of Jamaica suspend the execution of those persons
sentenced to death, commute the sentence of Earl Pratt and request, in
accordance with its Regulations and the spirit of Article 4 (3) of the
American Convention on Human Rights as well as for humanitarian reasons,
that the Government take definite steps to abolish the death penalty as
has been done in various countries.