Legal provision restricting the right to appeal in death penalty cases struck down as a denial of due process

The Privy Council has today found unconstitutional a statute in St Vincent and the Grenadines preventing prisoners facing the death penalty from applying for an extension of time to appeal in their case.

In St Vincent, a person must apply for permission to appeal within 14 days of the date of their conviction. Whilst there is a provision allowing individuals to apply for an extension of time in other cases, death row prisoners are explicitly exempted from exercising this right.

The appellant in the case, Patrick Lovelace, is the last man on death row in St Vincent. The Death Penalty Project (DPP) has been providing Lovelace with pro bono legal assistance since 2012. It challenged the constitutionality of the legal provision to the Privy Council, arguing it amounted to a denial of due process for death row prisoners.

SM&B is the founder and long term supporter of the DPP, an independent charity which is housed in the offices of the firm.

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