by Linda Straker
- Criminal Code amended in 2012 provides for non-capital and capital murder charges
- Considerations for granting bail include self-defence and no criminal conviction
- Javid Raymond is latest murder accused placed on bail
A lawyer has confirmed that since Grenada amended the Criminal Code in 2012 to provide for non-capital and capital murder charges, several people charged with non-capital murder have been on bail because of the circumstances under which the offence occurred.
“First of all, it must be made clear that bail for non-capital murder is not one determined by the magistrate in a magistrate court, but such a determination is made by a High Court Judge,” said criminal lawyer Jerry Edwin. “It all depends on the circumstances under which the death occurred.” Within the past 3 years, he has had 3 clients granted bail after being accused of murder.
He explained that 2 of the considerations for granting bail to a murder accused are self-defence and no criminal conviction. “If the accused has no history of interacting with police for whatever reason previously, and suddenly that person is charged with the offence of non-capital murder, then his or her lawyer can file a motion to the High Court seeking to have the person on bail,” he said. “An accused murderer getting bail is really at the discretion of the judge.”
The latest murder-accused placed on bail is Javid Raymond, a 28-year-old unemployed man of Circular Drive, Grand Anse Housing Scheme, St George, charged on 16 September 2023 for the offence of Non-Capital Murder. Raymond, according to a police statement in September, was charged for intentionally and unlawfully causing the death of 24-year-old Josiah Jonty Robinson on 17 June 2023 whose body was found on a beach in the south of Grenada. Arley Gill, lawyer for the accused, did not share details about the bail hearing and the judge’s terms and conditions, but confirmed that his client was placed on bail on 20 December after approximately 3 months at the Richmond Hill Prison.
The Criminal Code Amendment Act (Amendment) Act 29 of 2012 introduced the terms of capital and non-capital murder. According to Section 230b (3), an individual who is convicted of an offence of non-capital murder is liable to imprisonment for life, but also may be sentenced to death if he has a prior conviction of murder committed on another occasion or another conviction of murder committed on the same occasion with which he is charged.
However, according to Section 230b (4), such an individual shall not be sentenced to death as a result of a previous conviction for murder unless, 7 days before the trial, notice is given to the convicted person that the previous conviction is intended to be proved against him and also if it is admitted by him or found to be proven against him by the trial judge.