Skip to main content arrow-down arrow-tail-right arrow-triangle-right calendar camera compass download email eye facebook flag mail phone pin play send square-right tag twitter youtube badge message

The State v Nimrod Miguel

  • News
  • 24 Jun 2014

Nimrod Miguel has received a sentence of nineteen and half years’ imprisonment, after previously being sentenced to death under the felony-murder rule in Trinidad.

Although abolished in the United Kingdom in 1957, the felony-murder rule persists in certain Caribbean jurisdictions, and permits a person to be convicted of murder if death is caused in the course of a violent offence, even though no death or serious injury was intended. The felony-murder rule has been widely criticised as “harsh” and “oppressive” and can result in wholly disproportionate sentences. In this case, it meant Mr Miguel, who was party to a robbery, was convicted of murder for a shooting, despite the fact that he was not the shooter and had expressly refused to take part in the shooting.

Mr Miguel’s case was referred back to the Trinidad Court of Appeal for sentencing, after the Privy Council, in June 2011, quashed his death sentence and ruled that the mandatory imposition of a death sentence in Trinidad and Tobago for a felony-murder was unconstitutional. (Read the full JCPC judgment)

The Death Penalty Project provided detailed submissions to the Court of Appeal setting out why life sentences should not be the norm in these kinds of cases and that fixed, determinate sentences were appropriate, in order to mitigate some of the harshness of the felony-murder rule. The Death Penalty Project had previously assisted Mr Miguel during his proceedings before the Privy Council.

On 24 June 2014, the Court of Appeal sentenced Mr Miguel to 30 years, but reduced it further after taking into account the time spent in prison since his arrest.

Edward Fitzgerald QC and Ruth Brander of Doughty Street Chambers were instructed pro bono to assist local counsel.

Read the Court of Appeal sentencing judgment

Latest news

The Kalisher Trust Legal Internship - Applications now open
Read More
World Day Against the Death Penalty - Women and the Death Penalty
Read More
People may change mind about death penalty, but government?
Read More
Dismantle the gallows! Sierra Leone becomes the latest country to abolish the death penalty
Read More
Sentenced to death for killing her abusive ex-boyfriend as he attacked her: Aminata's story shows the importance of considering mitigating circumstances
Read More
New research revealing the attitudes of Indonesians towards the death penalty provides new data that could facilitate fresh discourse on the future of capital punishment in the country
Read More
A punishment reserved for the poor and marginalised? New study shines light on the profiles and experiences of death row inmates in Bangladesh
Read More
The Death Penalty Project at CogX Festival 2021
Read More
Guyana’s Court of Appeal will today hear a landmark case that could see the death penalty abolished
Read More
Lawyer: Popular support a flawed reason for death penalty in Japan
Read More
[JOINT STATEMENT] UN Crime Congress: abolition of the death penalty must be an integral part of crime prevention programmes and criminal justice reforms
Read More
Malaysian man has death sentence quashed as judgment in Singapore makes judicial history
Read More
British national received 24 strokes of the cane for drug offences in Singapore
Read More
New report finds Zimbabwean opinion leaders support abolition of the death penalty
Read More
Privy Council overturns murder conviction of unrepresented man who faced the death penalty in The Bahamas
Read More

Stay up-to-date with our work