The release of one man convicted of murder in the Cayman
Islands could be the crack in the dam that sees more men freed from Her
Majesty’s Prison, Northward.
The governor’s office called the release of Blanford Dixon
‘proactive’. That’s probably what the release of at least three more killers
will be called.
It’s proactive because, if measures aren’t taken now to
address the human rights of those men who are serving life sentences for
murder, appeals to the UK and European courts will be filed – with the Cayman
Islands likely to foot the bill.
While these ‘proactive’ measures may keep the cases from
going to faraway courts, the governor’s simply releasing the convicted killers
on licence isn’t the best long-term solution.
Instead, legislators should change the law and give judges
options when sentencing.
As it stands now, anyone convicted of murder for helping
someone die in an act of mercy is just as guilty – and given the same life
sentence – as a mass murderer. That cannot be right.
The law should be changed to allow judges a minimum to a
maximum sentence, depending on the circumstances and evidence in the death of
another human being.
In 2006, the Human Rights Committee recommended minimum
sentencing tariffs that would allow judges to review the sentence after the
convicted person had served a minimum number of years to determine whether the
convicted murderer was still a danger to society.
Unfortunately, the sitting legislative body at the time and
subsequent governments ignored the report…and then Human rights legislation
came into full force in November 2012, under Cayman’s 2009 Constitution Order.
Unless Members of the Legislative Assembly change the law to
allow judges sentencing options, the governor’s office will have to continue to
be ‘proactive’ to keep these cases from being dragged into the UK or European