Bahamian Bishop Says Privy Council Should be Abandoned

Bishop Simeon Hall, was chair of the government-appointed National Advisory Council on Crime has expressed that it is clear that if families of murder victims are to ever have justice, The Bahamas must abandon the Privy Council, at least for murder appeals.


One of the recommendations the Crime Council made to the Ingraham administration is to resume capital punishment, however, various Privy Council decisions over the years have set such a strict standard for the imposition of the death penalty, the government has been unable to carry out the law in this regard.



Tido was convicted of the 2002 murder of Donnell Conover. The 16-year-old was found with her skull crushed, and her body burnt.



The Privy Council said while Conover’s murder was “dreadful” and “appalling” it did not fall into the category for the worst of the worst murders and therefore the death penalty ought not apply.


“The ruling by the Privy Council raises serious questions as to what is happening,” Hall said.“I understand to some degree the Privy Council has the last word, but certainly my big problem I’m wrestling with is what is the justice system saying to families of victims of murder, and then to persons who do the murder?

“It seems that the whole system now is lending its way to criminality. For the law lords to conclude that this was a bad murder but it’s not counted as the worst of the worst, I think it’s time for us to cry shame on the justice system.”


Meanwhile, mother of the deceased, Laverne, said the Privy Council’s ruling had re-opened an old wound.


“The murderers have all the rights,” said Conover, who added that she learnt of the ruling last week via the evening television newscast.


She told The Nassau Guardian that her daughter was so mutilated she was only able to identify her by her nose.


“What I would like to know is what is the worst of the worst because murder is murder. If this is not the worst of the worst, could somebody explain to me what is the worst of the worst?” Conover said the murder tore her whole family apart – she and her husband subsequently divorced, one of her sons is on the run from the law, and the other children have had their own emotional challenges.


She said life has not been the same since.


(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Caribbeannewsnow publication)

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