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THE BAHAMAS: PRIVY COUNCIL OVERTURNS MURDER CONVICTION OF UNREPRESENTED MAN WHO FACED THE DEATH PENALTY

April 27, 2020:

The Privy Council on 27 April 2020 overturned the conviction of a Bahamian man who represented himself in a murder trial in which the prosecution sought the imposition of the death penalty. 
In May 2013, Simeon Bain, who had limited education and poor reading ability, was convicted of the murder of Rashad Morris and other related offences, after his counsel withdrew at the start of the trial and he was left to conduct the trial himself.
While noting there is no absolute right to representation, the Privy Council observed that it is highly desirable that a defendant in a murder trial facing the death penalty should be continuously represented. The Privy Council described Mr Bain’s case as one of “serious mismanagement” by the trial judge and that “had he been represented the evidence may well have been materially different.” Ultimately, this deprived Mr Bain of a fair trial.
Saul Lehrfreund, Co-Executive Director of The Death Penalty Project says:
“This decision reaffirms the principle that minimum fair trial standards must be respected in capital cases without exception. This important decision of the Privy Council critically sets out the relevant principles a trial judge must apply to ensure that individuals facing the death penalty are afforded every opportunity to access legal representation. Mr Bain had faced a possible death sentence without the assistance of a lawyer and this was rightly found to be a miscarriage of justice by the Privy Council.”
The matter will now be sent back to the Court of Appeal in The Bahamas to decide whether a retrial should be ordered.

(Sources: The Death Penalty Project, 27/04/2020)

CHAD: PARLIAMENT OUTLAWS DEATH PENALTY FOR ACTS OF TERROR
SOMALIA: AL-SHABAAB EXECUTES THREE IN HIRAN REGION
SAUDI ARABIA: EGYPTIAN ENGINEER ON DEATH ROW EXONERATED
SIERRA LEONE: 5 MOB CLIQUE MEMBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAN: THREE PRISONERS EXECUTED FOR MURDER CHARGES
APPEAL OF HANDS OFF CAIN TO PROTECT THE TURKISH LAWYERS EBRU TIMTIK AND AYTAC UYSAL, AND FOR THE END AF ALL-OUT HUNGER STRIKE
SAUDI ARABIA: ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY FOR MINORS COVERS TERROR CONVICTS
INDONESIA: BINTAN DISTRICT COURT HANDS DEATH SENTENCE TO THREE DRUG SMUGGLERS
BAHRAIN: THREE BANGLADESHIS LOSE APPEAL AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
TEXAS (USA): GILMAR GUEVARA SPARED EXECUTION BECAUSE HE IS INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED
SAUDI ARABIA ENDS EXECUTIONS FOR CRIMES COMMITTED BY MINORS
USA: DOCTORS ASK DEATH PENALTY STATES TO GIVE UP EXECUTION DRUGS FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS
IRAN: 10 PRISONERS QUICKLY HANGED BEFORE RAMADAN
INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR KIDNAPPING, MURDER OF MINOR COMMUTED
SAUDI ARABIA ABOLISHES FLOGGING AS PUNISHMENT
IRAN: POSSIBLE JUVENILE OFFENDER HANGED FOR MURDER
CHINA: MANHOLE COVER THIEVES 'MAY GET DEATH SENTENCES'
SINGAPORE: MAN ESCAPES GALLOWS AFTER BEING CLEARED OF DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGE BY COURT OF APPEAL
JUSTICE: HANDS OFF CAIN, RIGHT TO HEALTH IS VALID FOR ALL EVEN 41 BIS
AMNESTY: SAUDI ARABIA EXECUTED RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN 2019 AMID DECLINE IN GLOBAL EXECUTIONS
IRAN: JUVENILE OFFENDER SHAYAN SAEEDPOUR EXECUTED
MOROCCO: HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT RECOMMENDS ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY
TAIWAN: COALITION PETITIONS PRESIDENT TO PARDON DEATH ROW INMATE TORTURED INTO CONFESSION
PAKISTAN: SINDH HIGH COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OF FORMER MITHI JUDGE
IRAN: MAN HANGED AT HAMADAN PRISON FOR MURDER CHARGES
PRISON. APPEAL OF 54 PERSONALITIES FROM 14 COUNTRIES TO THE EU FOR AN AMNESTY FACING COVID-19
MYANMAR: MORE THAN 24,000 PRISONERS PARDONED IN AMNESTY
INDONESIA: TWO DRUG COURIERS IN SOUTH SUMATRA SENTENCED TO DEATH
CAMEROON: PRESIDENT ORDERS DE-CROWDING OF PRISONS TO COMBAT COVID-19
PRISON: CONVOCATION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF HANDS OFF CAIN-SPES CONTRA SPEM

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