The Belize Court of Appeal has struck down a young man’s sentence of life without parole as “grossly disproportionate, inhumane and therefore unconstitutional”.
Gregory August was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 for a murder committed when he was just 19 years old. In Belize no prisoner convicted of murder is eligible for parole – regardless of the severity of their crime, their behaviour in prison or their potential for rehabilitation.
The Death Penalty Project has been assisting a team of local lawyers to argue August’s case before the Belize Court of Appeal.
In a landmark decision delivered Friday 4th November, the Court found the sentence of life imprisonment without any possibility of release to amount to inhuman and degrading punishment and to violate the right to a fair trial.
We are delighted with the Court’s decision, which we hope will have wide reaching impact for the more than 30 prisoners who are currently serving life sentences in Belize.