Antigua and Barbuda on Flogging, Hanging, and the Death Penalty

Speaking at the Human Rights National Report to the Working Group of the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland, Attorney General Justin Simon stated that Antigua and Barbuda should remove the Corporal Punishment Act from the law books to prevent the whipping and flogging of male prisoners. The attorney general said the punishment has not been ordered by the courts for some time and, as a result, the Act should be repealed.

He added that “Antigua and Barbuda has continuously voted against United Nations resolutions calling for a moratorium on the death penalty as such resolutions were inconsistent with existing national legislation.” Simon pointed out that the seven inmates who were sentenced to hang are now serving life sentences following a landmark ruling in 2001 by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal that the mandatory death sentence contravened the constitutional provision, which prohibited cruel and inhuman punishment.

[. . .] In recent months, there has been renewed debate here about the use of the death penalty with some arguing it is not a deterrent to crime. However, the measure has been endorsed by National Security Minister Dr. Errol Cort and Commissioner of Police Vere Browne.

Antigua & Barbuda’s last three executions occurred in 1988, 1989, and 1991.

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