Popular Lawyer Ibrahim Tommy has vindicated President Maada Bio over the controversial release of a convicted murderer LAC who is yet to complete one fourth of his sentence at the male Correctional sentence.
Tommy who is the head of Center of Accountability and the Rule of Law stated that the Constitution of Sierra Leone provides the President with wide powers when it comes to Presidential pardon and the release is constitutional.
He made this statement while responding to questions in relation to the President controversial release of a convicted murderer LAC in an interview with the African Young Voices Television.
Lawyer Tommy stated that he assumes the president is not aware about the list presented to him for pardon. He claims that the president has trusted people around him who proffered recommendations for these prisoners to be granted prerogative of Mercy. He further pointed out that he followed the trials of the said case as the two accused were convicted of murder and conspiracy to Commit murder.
He emphasized that the recommendations process normally start with the Sierra Leone Correctional Service before taking the list to the Committee members
He cited that the Country’s 1991 Constitution make clear provisions that the president may act in accordance with the advice of a committee appointed by the cabinet over which the Vice President shall preside.
Tommy further stated that the release has caused public outrage and disrespect to the Victim’s family as the Convicts were yet to spend one fourth of their Sentences.
He calls for investigation within the Sierra Leone Correctional Service and further emphasized that we need reforms in our systems in a much transparent and accountable manner
The prerogative of Mercy traces it origin to the British tradition, as a form of retrospective mercy offered by the Monarch. Today a discretionary power typically vested in either the Monarch or head of State, the prerogative of functions is to ameliorate the harshness of sentencing or alleviate miscarriage of Justice: most commonly, an offender may be pardoned or have his sentence commuted.
In Sierra Leone, Presidential pardon are normally twice a year on New Year’s and Sierra Leones Independence Day. The presidential pardon is normally seen as goodwill or gesture.
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