Capital Punishment in the Bahamas

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Section Capital Punishment

The Bahamas hanged 50 men since 1929 according to records kept at Her Majesty’s Prison. Five were hanged under the Ingraham administration; 13 were hanged under the Pindling government, and 32 inmates were executed between 1929 and 1967. The last act of capital punishment in The Bahamas took place on January 6, 2000 when convicted murderer David Mitchel was executed by hanging. Mitchel was convicted of stabbing two German tourists to death. (Nassau Guardian, published: August 27, 2012)

A report released by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) encourages The Bahamas and other members of the Caribbean which maintain the death penalty to impose a moratorium on execution. The IACHR also urged The Bahamas to ratify the protocols of the American Convention on Human Rights in abolishing or reintroduce its application.

In 2006 the Privy Council ruling determined that the mandatory death sentence was unconstitutional in The Bahamas. Because of this many inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison who were previously under the death penalty had their sentence commuted to life in prison, received other sentences or had their sentences overturned on appeal. Some inmates had been under the death sentence since the 1990s. In 2011, Parliament passed a law that outlines the categories of murder and states which would have the death penalty attached. The Privy Council ruled that the worst cases of murder is carefully planned and carried out in furtherance of another crime, such as robbery, rape, drug smuggling, human struggling, kidnapping, preventing witnesses from testifying, serial killing, as well as the killing of innocents “for the gratification of base desires”. (Nassau Guardian, published June 21, 2011)
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