REPORT Nº 76/02
On November 20, 2000, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (the “Commission") received a petition from Mr. Saul
Lehrfreund of the London, United Kingdom law firm of Simons Muirhead
& Burton (the “Petitioners") on behalf of Dave Sewell, a
death row inmate in the State of Jamaica ("Jamaica" or the
The petition alleged that the State tried and convicted Mr.
Sewell for the crime of capital murder and sentenced him to death by
hanging on April 6, 1998 pursuant to Jamaica's Offences
Against the Person Act, 1864, as amended by the
Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Act 1992.
The petition also alleged that the State is responsible for
violating Mr. Sewell’s rights under the American Convention on Human
Rights (the “Convention”) in connection with the criminal
proceedings against him based upon the following grounds:
violations of Articles 4(1), 4(2), 5(1), 5(2) and 8(1) of the
Convention, relating to the mandatory nature of the death penalty
imposed upon Mr. Sewell;
violations of Articles 5(1) and 5(2) of the Convention,
relating to Mr. Sewell’s conditions of detention and the method of
execution in Jamaica;
violations of Articles 7(5) and 8(1) of the Convention,
relating to the delay in trying Mr. Sewell;
violations of Articles 24 and 25 of the American Convention,
relating to Mr. Sewell’s inability to pursue a Constitutional Motion
In its response to the petition, the State denied that the
manner in which the death penalty is imposed in Jamaica contravenes
Article 4(2) of the Convention and contended that the exercise of the
prerogative of mercy in Jamaica is sufficient to take the individual
circumstances of an offender into account in imposing a death
sentence. The State also
denied that conditions of detention at St. Catherine District Prison
in Jamaica fail to meet international standards of humane treatment,
and asserted that Articles 24 and 25 of the Convention do not place an
obligation on State Parties to provide legal aid for Constitutional
Motions. With respect to
the Petitioners’ allegations relating to the delay in trying Mr.
Sewell, the State indicated that it would investigate the facts
surrounding the allegation and submit the results thereof to the
The Commission had not previously made an admissibility
determination pursuant to Articles 46 and 47 of the Convention
concerning the complaints presented in Mr. Sewell’s petition.
After having considered the matter, the Commission has decided
to declare admissible the claims presented on behalf of Mr. Sewell.
In addition, upon consideration of the merits of Mr. Sewell’s
complaint, the Commission reached the following conclusions:
(a) The State is responsible for violating Articles 4(1), 5(1), 5(2) and
8(1) of the Convention in respect of Mr. Sewell, in conjunction with
violations of Articles 1(1) and 2 of the Convention, by sentencing him
to a mandatory death penalty;
The State is responsible for violating Articles 5(1) and 5(2)
of the Convention in respect of Mr. Sewell, in conjunction with
violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by reason of his
conditions of detention;
The State is responsible for violating Articles 7(5) and 8(1)
of the Convention in respect of Mr. Sewell, in conjunction with
violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by reason of the delay
in trying Mr. Sewell;
the State is responsible for violating Articles 8(1) and 25 of
the Convention in respect of Mr. Sewell, in conjunction with
violations of Article 1(1) of the Convention, by reason of the denial
to Mr. Sewell of recourse to a Constitutional Motion for the
determination of his rights under domestic law and the Convention in
connection with the criminal proceedings against him.
PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION
Petition and Observations
Following the receipt of Mr. Sewell’s petition on November
20, 2000, the Commission opened Case 12.347 and transmitted the
pertinent parts of the petition to the State by communication dated
December 4, 2000, with a request that the State supply information
with respect to the communication within 90 days as established in the
Commission's former Regulations.
By communication dated February 2, 2001, which was received by
the Commission on February 6, 2001, the Commission received
information from the State respecting Mr. Sewell’s petition.
By note dated February 12, 2001 the Commission transmitted the
pertinent parts of the State's observations to the Petitioners, with a
response requested within 30 days.
By letter dated March 12, 2001 and received by the Commission
on the same date, the Petitioners delivered a reply to the State's
observations on Mr. Sewell’s petition. The Petitioners’ reply included a copy of an affidavit
sworn by Mr. Sewell on February 6, 2001.
In a note dated March 13, 2001, the Commission transmitted the
pertinent parts of the Petitioners' reply to the State, with a
response requested within 30 days.
As of the date of the present report, no further written
observations had been received by the Commission from the parties in
B. Precautionary Measures
Contemporaneously with the transmission of the pertinent parts
of the petition in this matter to the State, the Commission requested
pursuant to Article 29(2) of its former Regulations that the State
take precautionary measures to stay Mr. Sewell’s execution pending
the Commission’s investigation of the allegations in the petition
and the threat of irreparable harm to Mr. Sewell no longer persisted.
This request was made on the basis that if the State executed
Mr. Sewell before the Commission had an opportunity to examine his
case, any eventual decision would be rendered moot in terms of
available remedies and irreparable harm would be caused to Mr. Sewell.
The Commission did not receive a response from the State to its
request for precautionary measures.
By communications dated January 15, 2002 to the Petitioners and
to the State, the Commission placed itself at the disposal of the
parties, with a view to reaching a friendly settlement pursuant to
Article 48(1)(f) of the Convention on the basis of respect for the
human rights recognized therein.
The Commission also requested that the parties provide the
Commission with a response to the Commission's offer within 30 days of
receipt of the communication, in the absence of which the Commission
would continue with consideration of the matter.
In a note dated February 14, 2002, which was received by the
Commission on the same date, the Petitioners informed the Commission
that they were not willing to enter into a friendly settlement, in
view of the fact that Mr. Sewell was under sentence of death awaiting
in a communication dated February 27, 2002, which was received by the
Commission on the same date, the State informed the Commission that it
was of the view that there were no outstanding issues that would
necessitate friendly settlement discussions, and urged the Commission
to continue with its consideration of the case.
In light of the parties’ responses to the Commission’s
January 15, 2002 communication, the Commission considered that a
friendly settlement of the matter was not possible and decided to
continue to process the matter in accordance with the provisions of
the American Convention and the Commission’s Rules of Procedure.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
Position of the Petitioners
Background to the Case
According to the record in this case, Dave Sewell was arrested
and charged with the June 11, 1993 murder of Errol Cann, a businessman
in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, in the course or furtherance of a
robbery. Mr. Sewell was
subsequently tried for the murder from March 28 to April 12, 1995,
together with his co-Defendants Dean McTaggart and Kevin Geddes.
On April 12, 1995, Mr. Sewell and Mr. McTaggart were convicted
of capital murder and sentenced to death by hanging, while Mr.
Geddes was convicted of non-capital murder and sentenced to 25
years imprisonment. All
three Defendants subsequently appealed their convictions and
sentences, and Mr. Sewell’s appeal was allowed by the Court of
Appeal of Jamaica on July 31, 1996 and a re-trial was ordered, while
his co-Defendants’ appeals were dismissed.
On April 6, 1998 in the Home Circuit Court, Kingston, Jamaica,
Mr. Sewell was again convicted of the crime of capital murder and
sentenced to death. Mr.
Sewell again appealed his conviction and sentence, and on July 30,
1999 the Court of Appeal of Jamaica dismissed his appeal.
Mr. Sewell then lodged a petition for Special Leave to Appeal
as a Poor Person to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on May
8, 2000, and the Privy Council dismissed his petition on July 17,
The prosecution’s case was based in part upon the evidence of
one witness, Dave Morris, who claimed to have grown up with Mr. Sewell
and was the only witness to implicate Mr. Sewell in the crime.
In particular, Mr. Morris claimed that on the night before the
murder he had been kidnapped by a friend named Toushan and taken to a
one room house where he remained overnight.
He also claimed that the next morning he assisted Mr. Sewell
and another man named German to deliver a hard cart to Martin Street
and was then told to leave. He
pretended to leave but hid instead in order to view what was
Also according to the prosecution, at some time after 9:00 am
on June 11, 1993, the deceased was sitting in the front passenger seat
of a motor car driven by his employee, Dorothy Shim.
They were driving along Martin Street in Spanish Town on the
way to the bank. A female
clerk was sitting in the back of the car with a bag containing over
half a million dollars. Mrs.
Shim saw a boy struggling with a cart in the middle of the road and
stopped the car. A man
then appeared in front of the car pointing a gun in the direction of
the car, and several men also appeared behind the car on its left
side. One of these men,
who was later identified by Mr. Morris as Mr. Sewell, drew a long gun
from a shopping bag containing flowers.
Blood was seen coming from the deceased’s mouth, who told
Mrs. Shim that he had been shot in the heart and mouth.
The deceased’s cause of death was a shot gun wound to the
chest. Mr. Sewell then
ran from the scene while one of the accomplices pushed himself part
way into the car while it was moving but eventually fell.
It appears that during this period the money in the clerk’s
possession was stolen as it was missing by the time Mrs. Shim had
driven the car to the hospital a few minutes away.
Following the shooting, Mr. Morris also fled the scene and the
next time he saw Mr. Sewell was when he pointed him out in a cell at
the Central Police Station on August 19, 1993, after Mr. Sewell’s
arrest on July 9, 1993. The
prosecution alleged that Mr. Sewell sought to avoid being pointed out
in a previous identification parade held on July 27, 1993 by arranging
with another prison, Christopher Baker, to stand in his place.
In his defense, Mr. Sewell made an unsworn statement in which
he declared that he was innocent and that he did not know the witness
Morris and did not grow up with him. In addition, Mr. Sewell claimed that at the time of the
incident he was engaged at work at a construction site at Naggo’s
Head Hellshire, that he had worked there for some minutes before 8:00
a.m. until noon and had heard the news of Cann’s death on the radio
just before lunch in the site canteen.
Also according to Mr. Sewell, he had been on the identification
parade on July 27 but had not been pointed out, and the defense called
an attorney-at-law, Seymour Stewart, who said that he had watched the
parade on July 27, 1993 an, that both Baker and Sewell were on the
parade but had changed clothes, and that Morris had failed to identify
Position of the Petitioners on Admissibility
The Petitioners in Mr. Sewell’s case contend that his
petition is admissible. In
particular, the Petitioners claim that Mr. Sewell has exhausted all
available domestic remedies because his lack of private means and
unavailability of legal aid prohibit him from pursuing a
Constitutional Motion before the Supreme Court of Jamaica, and that he
has otherwise pursued any remedies that may be available to him.
The Petitioners also allege that the Constitution of Jamaica is
drafted so as to immunize from attack laws and punishments which were
lawful before independence, including legislation providing for the
mandatory death penalty. As
a consequence, the Petitioners claim that it is not possible to argue
in any domestic court that the death penalty is unconstitutional
because of its mandatory nature or because it is cruel, unless the way
it is to be carried out would not have been lawful before
independence. The Petitioners make similar submissions in respect of the
method of execution in Jamaica.
Further, according to the Petitioners, the subject matter of
Mr. Sewell’s case has not been submitted for examination under any
other procedure of international investigation or settlement.
Position of the Petitioners on the Merits
a. Articles 4 and 5 of the
Convention - Mandatory Nature of the Death Penalty
The Petitioners allege that the State acted contrary to
Articles 4(1), 4(2), 5(1), 5(2) and 8(1) of the American Convention by
sentencing Mr. Sewell to a mandatory death penalty for the crime of
capital murder. In
particular, the Petitioners argue that the imposition of the death
penalty in Mr. Sewell’s case violates the American Convention
because it is not reserved for the most serious offenses as required
by Article 4(2) of the Convention and is contrary to Article 4(1) of
the Convention, and because executing an individual without an
individualized sentencing hearing is cruel and violates his rights
under Articles 5(1) and 5(2) of the Convention.
24. In making these submissions, the Petitioners emphasize that, while the Convention does not prohibit the death penalty, and that while their argument is not intended to constitute an attack upon the legality of the death penalty under domestic or international law, this does not relieve a State of its obligation to administer capital punishment in a way that is neither arbitrary nor cruel.
25. The Petitioners first argue that the requirement under Article 4(2) of the Convention that the death penalty be imposed only for the most “serious offenses” should be interpreted so as to encompass more than the elements of a criminal offense, and in particular should be interpreted to require consideration of all factors of a criminal offense, including those referable to an individual applicant. In this regard, the Petitioners submit that as matter of common sense, it is not possible to say that the murder of a prison officer is more serious than and will always be more serious than, for example, the murder of a child. It therefore follows, argue the Petitioners, that the mandatory death penalty produces arbitrary results, as there is no mechanism whereby like cases are treated alike and unlike cases distinguished. .
26. In addition, it is argued on behalf of Mr. Sewell that the mandatory death penalty violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment or treatment under Article 5 of the Convention. The Petitioners suggest in this respect that Article 5 of the Convention is based on the idea that each human being has rights that must be respected even when punishment is to be inflicted, and that to order the execution of a person without consideration of an individual’s status violates these principles.
In support of their position that the mandatory death penalty
for capital murder contravenes the American Convention, the
Petitioners refer to decisions of the highest courts of several common
law countries, including the United States of America
where the death penalty has been retained.
They also rely upon previous decisions by this Commission in
cases such as Haniff Hilaire v.
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Report Nº 66/99 (21 April 1999)
and Rudolph Baptiste v. Grenada, Report Nº 38/00 (April 13, 2000).
According to the Petitioners, these authorities support the
proposition that Mr. Sewell’s rights under Articles 4(1), 5(1), 5(2)
and 8 of the Convention are contravened because his right to life has
been interfered with by a sentence of death imposed automatically as a
consequence of his conviction for capital murder irrespective of the
circumstances. Mr. Sewell’s sentence of death is accordingly cruel,
inhuman and degrading and an arbitrary and disproportionate punishment
which cannot be a justification for depriving some one of their life.
In their March 12, 2001 reply to the State’s February 2, 2001
observations, the Petitioners made several additional arguments.
They submitted in particular that the onus is not on Mr. Sewell
to demonstrate an acceptable form of execution, but rather that if Mr.
Sewell succeeds on this ground, the duty is on the State Party to
carry out the sentence of the Court in such a way that it is
compatible with the rights under the Convention.
b. Article 5 of the Convention - Conditions of Detention and Method of Execution in Jamaica
Conditions of Detention
The Petitioners allege that the conditions in which Mr. Sewell
has been detained by the State constitute a violation of his rights
under Article 5 of the Convention to be free from cruel, inhuman or
degrading punishment or treatment. In their submissions, the Petitioners provide information as
to the general conditions of detention facilities in Jamaica, as well
as information regarding the particular conditions of detention
experienced by Mr. Sewell
With respect to the conditions of detention facilities in
Jamaica generally, the Petitioners refer to reports prepared by
various governmental and non-governmental organizations respecting the
State's prison conditions. These
include Americas Watch: Prison
Conditions in Jamaica (1990); Jamaica Prison Ombudsman: Prison and Lock Ups (1983); Americas Watch: Death Penalty, Prison Conditions and Prison Violence (1993); Jamaica
Council for Human Rights: A
Report on the Role of the Parliamentary Ombudsman in Jamaica
(Summer 1994); and Amnesty International:
Proposal for an Inquiry into Death and Ill-treatment of Prisoners in
St. Catherine's District Prison (1993).
These reports provide information regarding the physical
conditions of the prisons and prisoners, the treatment of prisoners by
prison staff, and the status of medical, educational and work
facilities and programs in various prisons and lock up facilities in
According to the Petitioners, these reports indicate that
detention facilities in Jamaica are poor and have not been remedied by
the Jamaican government. They
cite, for example, the conclusion by Americas Watch in 1993 that “[t]he
conditions in the prisons and lock ups have continued to be extremely
poor and in violation of international standards for as long as
Americas Watch have been investigating them…”
With respect to the conditions of capital prisoners in
particular, the Petitioners indicate that all death row inmates in
Jamaica are situated on death row in St. Catherine’s District
Prison, which was built in the 18th Century and was
formerly a slave market. The
Petitioners submit that generally speaking, death row inmates are
deprived of a mattress or other bedding or furniture, that inmates’
cells suffer from inadequate sanitation, ventilation and light, and
that prisoners experience poor standards of personal hygiene and are
given diets with substandard levels of protein.
In addition, the Petitioners claim that inadequate health and
psychiatric care is available to prisoners, and that inmates condemned
to death spend long periods in their cells, have no work or education
facilities, and are often the subject of threats, beating and other
ill-treatment by prison guards. The
Petitioners further claim that any complaint mechanisms that exist in
the facilities do not adequately address prisoners’ grievances.
With respect to the conditions of detention alleged to have
been experienced by Mr. Sewell personally, the Petitioners claim,
based in part on an affidavit sworn by Mr. Sewell on February 6, 2001,
that his post-conviction detention on death row has subjected him to
cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment contrary to
Article 5 of the Convention.
In particular, Mr. Sewell claims that he has been on death row
for a total of 3 years and 10 months in an 8 foot by 5 foot cell where
he is constantly held in solitary confinement.
He has no furniture except for a water jug and a bucket which
he uses as a toilet and for all other sanitary purposes and which is
only emptied once a day. He
also claims that there is a gutter in front of his cell that is
constantly full of stagnant water and that he sleeps and eats in
unhygienic conditions. Moreover,
Mr. Sewell claims that he is locked in his cell for 23 ½ hours per
day and is only allowed out of his cell for approximately 30 minutes
per day when he is expected to empty his slop pail, bathe and take
exercise. His cell is
also said to have inadequate ventilation and is therefore hot and
uncomfortable, and the food provided to him is “deplorable and
In light of these conditions of detention, the Petitioners
contend that the State is responsible for violations of Mr. Sewell’s
rights under Article 5 of the Convention.
The Petitioners rely in this connection upon several provisions
of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of
Prisoners. These include
Article 10, which states that all accommodation provided for the use
of prisoners shall "meet all requirements of health, due regard
being paid to climatic conditions and particularly cubic content of
air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and ventilation."
Petitioners also cite several comments and decisions of the UN Human
Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights regarding
humane treatment in the context of prison conditions.
These include the UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment
on Article 10(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which states in part that the “humane treatment and respect
for the dignity of all persons deprived of their liberty is a basic
standard of universal application which cannot depend entirely on
material resources.” The Petitioners refer additionally to the Greek Case,
in which the European Court of Human Rights found that
detention conditions may amount to inhuman treatment, where those
conditions involve overcrowding, inadequate toilet and sleeping
arrangements, inadequate food and recreation, and incommunicado
Based upon these submissions, the Petitioners argue that Mr.
Sewell’s treatment has violated his right under Article 5 of the
Convention to be free from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
In their March 12, 2001 response to the State’s February 2,
2001 observations in this matter, the Petitioners contend that the
affidavits relied upon by the State are the same affidavits relied
upon by Jamaica in the case of Neville
Lewis before the domestic courts in Jamaica. The Petitioners argue that the affidavits do not specifically
respond to Mr. Sewell’s complaint as set out in his affidavit of
February 6, 2001. In
particular, they note that the affidavits relied upon by Jamaica are
the same affidavits relied upon by Jamaica in the case of Neville
Lewis before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and claim
that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council did not accept the
affidavits to refute the Appellants’ allegations that the treatment
in prison and the prison conditions in which the Appellants were
detained amounted to inhumane or degrading treatment. According to the
Petitioners, the Privy Council held that the allegations of inhuman
prison conditions should have been determined by the Supreme Court and
Court of Appeal in Jamaica by hearing oral evidence and that it was
not open to the courts to reject the allegations and disbelieve the
appellants based upon affidavit alone.
The Petitioners therefore argue that the evidence relied upon
by the State does not refute Mr. Sewell’s complaint that his rights
under Article 5 of the Convention have been and are being violated.
Method of Execution in Jamaica
The Petitioners argue that the execution of the death sentence
by hanging, as provided for under Jamaican law, constitutes cruel and
inhuman treatment or punishment per se in violation of Articles 5(1) and 5(2) of the Convention.
In this regard, the Petitioners submit that whereas Article
4(2) of the Convention allows for the imposition of the death penalty
under certain limited circumstances, any method of execution provided
by law must be designed in such a way as to avoid conflict with
Article 5 of the Convention.
In support of their arguments, the Petitioners provided
detailed accounts of the physical, physiological and psychological
effects of hanging upon a condemned prisoner, as described in the
affidavits of Dr. Harold Hillman dated April 28, 1999, Dr. Albert Hunt
dated July 1, 1997 and Dr. Francis Smith dated March 24, 1996.
Based upon this evidence, the Petitioners allege that the
execution of Mr. Sewell’s death sentence by hanging would violate
Article 5(2) of the Convention because:
(a) death by hanging constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment because it does not result in instantaneous death, and there is an impermissibly high risk that Mr. Sewell will suffer an unnecessarily painful and tortuous death by strangulation;
(b) the pressure in the brain will increase and this is normally accompanied by severe headaches. The increased pressure can be seen as engorgement of the face, eyes and tongue;
(c) the obstruction of the windpipe raises the carbon dioxide concentration in the blood which makes the person want to inspire, but he cannot do so, due to the obstruction of the windpipe itself. This causes great distress, as occurs during strangulation. However, the person cannot cry out nor can he react normally to distress and pain by moving his limbs violently as they are tied;
(d) the skin beneath the rope in the neck is stretched by the fall and this will be painful; and
(e) the humiliating effects of hanging on the body clearly amount to degrading treatment and punishment.
In the Petitioners’ submission, the execution of Mr. Sewell
by hanging in these circumstances would not meet the test of “least
possible physical and mental suffering,” and would therefore
constitute cruel and inhuman treatment in violation of Article 5 of
c. Articles 7(5) and 8(1) of the
Convention - Right to be Tried within a Reasonable Time
41. The Petitioners allege violations of Articles 7(5) and 8(1) of the Convention on the ground that Mr. Sewell was denied the right to be tried within a reasonable time. They claim that Mr. Sewell was detained by authorities in Jamaica from the date of his arrest until the date of his final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In this regard, the Petitioners provided the following chronology of events in Mr. Sewell’s criminal proceedings:
42. Based upon this chronology, the Petitioners allege that Mr. Sewell was subjected to a 4 year and 9 month delay in being brought to trial and that this period was unreasonable. They also submit that even subtracting the timing for the adjournment in February 1999 because of difficulties over defense witnesses, the overall delay was still unconscionable in light of international standards and that Mr. Sewell has been denied the right to be tried within a reasonable time.
43. The Petitioners also submit that the preponderance delay in Mr. Sewell’s case is attributable to the State and suggest that the evidence in Mr. Sewell’s case was not particularly complex. In this regard, the Petitioners argue that the State has not offered any adequate explanation for the delay in bringing Mr. Sewell to trial. They also allege that, while the right to a fair hearing can be substantiated by delay without proof of specific prejudice, the delay in Mr. Sewell’s case resulted in prejudice given that the conviction depended critically upon the evidence of an eye witness who would inevitably have had problems with his memory.
Articles 24 and 25 of the Convention – Denial of Access to
The Petitioners argue that the State does not provide legal aid
for Constitutional Motions, and that this resulted in a denial to Mr.
Sewell of access to court and a denial of effective remedies in
violation of Articles 24 and 25 of the Convention.
The Petitioners recognize that Article 25(1) of the
Constitution of Jamaica provides individuals with the legal right to
bring a Constitutional Motion before the Jamaican Supreme Court.
They argue, however, that notwithstanding this legal
right, the remedy is not an effective one in all of the circumstances
of the case because the costs of the proceedings are extremely high
and beyond Mr. Sewell’s financial means, and because no legal aid is
available for these motions. Consequently, the Petitioners submit that the State's failure
to provide legal aid for Constitutional Motions denies the victims
access to the courts and hence to an effective remedy for violations
of the Constitution or of the American Convention.
The Petitioners also submit in this regard that the principle
of effective access to courts is even more indispensable in capital
cases, where a defendant's life and liberty are at stake.
In support of their arguments, the Petitioners cite decisions
of other international human rights tribunals, such as the decision of
the European Court of Human Rights in Airey v. Ireland
and the U.N. Human Rights Committee in Curry
for the proposition that individuals must be guaranteed
effective access to courts in fact as well as in law, which may
require legal assistance in the provision of legal aid.
The Petitioners claim that the unavailability of legal aid in
Jamaica in fact deprives the victims of effective access to the
courts, and that as a consequence the State is responsible for
violations of Articles 24 and 25 of the Convention in respect of Mr.
During its 109th special session in December 2000, the
Commission approved the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, which replaced the Commission’s prior
Regulations of April 8, 1980. Pursuant to Article 78 of the
Commission’s Rules of Procedure, the Rules entered into force on
May 1, 2001.
In support of their submissions, the Petitioners cite
the decisions of the U.N. Human Rights Committee in Little v.
Jamaica, Communication Nº 283/1988, U.N. Doc. Nº
CCPR/C/43/D/283/1988, Reid v. Jamaica, Communication Nº 725/1987,
U.N. Doc. Nº CCPR/PR/C/39/D/725/1987; Collins v. Jamaica,
Communication Nº 356/1989, U.N. Doc. Nº CCPR/C/47/D/356/1989,
Smith v. Jamaica, Communication Nº 282/1988, U.N. Doc.
CCPR/C/47/D/282/1988, Campbell v. Jamaica, Communication Nº
248/1987, U.N. Doc. Nº CCPR/C/44/D/248/1987, and Kelly v. Jamaica,
Communication Nº 253/1987, U.N. Doc. Nº
Woodson V. North Carolina, 428 U.S. 280 (1976) (U.S.
Bachan Singh V. State of Punjab, (1980) S.C.C. 475
(Supreme Court of India).
The Petitioners additionally allege violations of
Articles 11(a), 11(b), 12, 13, 15, 19, 22(1), 22(2), 22(3), 24,
25(1), 25(2), 26(1), 26(2), 35(1), 36(1), 36(2), 36(3), 36(4), 57,
71(2), 72(3) and 77 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for
the Treatment of Prisoners.
Eur. Court H.R., Greek Case 12 Y.B. 1 (1969).
The Petitioners cite in this regard the decision of the
UN Human Rights Committee in the case Ng v. Canada, Communication
Nº 469/1991, in which the Committee stated that when imposing
capital punishment in accordance with Article 7 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the execution of the
sentence “must be carried out in such a way as to cause the least
possible physical and mental suffering.”
According to the Petitioners' submissions, Article 25(1)
of the Jamaican Constitution provides that "if any person
alleges that any of the provisions of Section 14-24 (inclusive) of
the Constitution has been, is being, or is likely to be contravened
in relation to him, then, without prejudice to any other action in
respect of the same matter which is lawfully available, that person
may apply to the Supreme Court for redress."
Airey v. Ireland  2 E.H.R.R. 305.
Curry v. Jamaica, Communication Nº 377/1989, at p. 5,
paras. 13.3, 13.4.