The death sentence for Nigel Brown has been commuted to a life term, with a minimum of 22 years, by the Trinidad Court of Appeal.
The Death Penalty Project assisted local counsel with submissions to the appeal court that fresh medical evidence, provided by Dr Richard Latham and Dr Tim Green, showed Mr Brown may not have been fit to plead, or alternatively possessed a defence of diminished responsibility.
The Death Penalty Project had previously assisted with Mr Brown’s petition before the Privy Council, which, in February 2012, referred the matter back to the Trinidad Court of Appeal to consider the safety of the conviction. (See here for further detail.)
Whilst the Court of Appeal rejected the claim that Mr Brown possessed only a limited understanding of his legal proceedings, or that his reasoning was impaired to the extent that he was not fully responsible for his actions, it commuted his death sentence to a life term, on account of the length of time Mr Brown had spent on death row.
Dr Latham and Dr Green both acted pro bono is in this matter. Julian Knowles QC and Mark Summers, both of Matrix Chambers, acted on behalf of Mr Brown before the Privy Council. Mr Knowles also assisted pro bono with the submissions before the Court of Appeal.
Photo credit: orangesparrow (Flickr, Creative Commons), https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/