Younger lifers could get shortest tariffs

| 15/03/2016 | 8 Comments
Cayman News Service

HMP Northward

(CNS): As the courts begin preparations to hear applications for all of the 16 inmates serving life sentences in HMP Northward, the youngest prisoners may be the ones to get the shortest tariffs. The new conditional release law provides for a number of mitigating circumstances, including age, that could see the recommended thirty-year life sentence for murder reduced at the discretion of the judge. 

There are three inmates who were relatively young when they committed their crimes, and depending on how the judges who hear the applications feel about the overall circumstances of their crimes, the tariffs they receive may be considerably shorter than 30 years, possibly as low as 20 years.

Although Trevino Bodden was just 20 when he killed brothers Bernard Scott and Renold Pearson in East End, the fact that it was a double homicide may counter the mitigating factor of age in his chances of a reduced tariff. He was found guilty of murder in November 2007.

After a fight between him and Scott on Fiddlers Way in November 2006, Bodden left and minutes later returned with a gun and shot the two men multiple times. An appeal against the conviction in 2009 failed. Having been on remand since 2006, Bodden has already served almost ten years.

Meanwhile, Chakane ‘CJ’ Scott, also from East End, was just 18 when he shot and killed his friend, Asher Williams McGaw in 2011. He was convicted in 2012 when he was 19 and received a mandatory life term. As the youngest lifer in Northward, Scott could expect a lower tariff than the 30 years, although there have been concerns it was a gang-related crime.

Earl Hart, who was a prosecution witness in the case, was murdered in October 2013 and his killer or killers have never been brought to justice. If the court finds McGaw’s murder was gang-related again, this could outweigh his very young age and go against any significant reduction in his jail time.

Tareek Ricketts, who was just 21 when he killed Jackson Rainford in a jealousy-fuelled crime of passion in 2012, may be the most likely of HMP Northward’s inmates to benefit from the new law’s provision for mitigation for younger killers. Ricketts, who was a man of good character before the killing, had a job in IT and has two young children. He killed Rainford as he sat in his car outside a home on Shedden Road in George Town because he was having a relationship with Ricketts’ former lover and the mother of his children.

No dates have been released so far for the courts to begin hearing the first tariff applications but a period of two years has been set aside to ensure that all lifers are given a fixed sentence term which they must serve before becoming eligible for parole. The new Conditional Release Board will make the decisions as to whether an inmate can be released and when, but only after they have served the tariff handed down by the courts.

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Category: Courts, Crime, Prison

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Said it before, will say it again….you take a life, you lose ALL of your human rights. LIFE = LIFETIME SERVED OUT IN JAIL. That’s how it should stay. Stop devaluing their victims’ lives, by allowing them out free to kill again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    While the do-gooders and liberals will applaud this policy, it is quite irrational. Younger criminals are far more likely to reoffend than older ones, so the rational policy would be to give the longer tarrifs to the younger ones.

  3. Jotnar says:

    “Ricketts, who was a man of good character before the killing..” Good character? Who just happened to have an illegal firearm with which to carry out the killing. Right!

    • Anonymous says:

      These scumbags are always angels according to their lawyers who never knew them. The real villains are the pastors that come up and lay on stories about the convicted criminals when they were at Sunday School.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pastors are crooks of a different clothes, they pander to the criminals like they want to save their souls when all they really see is another 10% paying customer to their church. Neither criminals or pastors earn their living, they are simply 21st century parasites.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The younger ones are the violent ones. Give them the longer sentences. Make an example of them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think anyone should speculate before the Court does its work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who gives a s..t on young they were or are. Does this mean they killed nicer because they were younger ? Keep all of them in jail. Non of them need to be let out

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