Mercy Committee members (L-R) Acting Attorney General Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles; Governor Ric Todd; and Mervin Cox
The first meeting of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mercy Committee was chaired by Governor Ric Todd on Grand Turk on Friday morning.
After consultation with the Mercy Committee, the governor may, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf:
(a) Grant pardon to any person convicted of any offence against the law in force in the Islands a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;
(b) Grant to any person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, from the execution of any punishment imposed on him or her for such an offence;
(c) Substitute a less severe form of punishment for that imposed by any sentence for such an offence; or
(d) Remit the whole or any part of any sentence passed for such an offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to Her Majesty on account of such an offence.
The Mercy Committee was established under section 127 of the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution. It comprises the governor and the attorney general plus four other members appointed by the governor, following nomination by the premier and the leader of the official opposition. These members are: Emily Saunders, Mervin Cox, Oral Selver and Father Bernard Been, all of whom are appointed for a three-year term from 1 July 2013.
The first meeting was used to familiarise members with their powers of pardon under the constitution and discuss the committee’s procedures. Its next meeting will be held in October 2013 in Providenciales, when its procedures will be finalised before being made public.
“This is an important community service here in the Islands -- mercy must be at the centre of every society,” said Todd. “I am most grateful to the members of the Committee who have agreed to be part of this serious and honourable endeavour.”