With the increasing number of murders across the Caribbean, many people have been calling for the full implementation of the capital punishment as a deterrent.

Charles Elroy Laplace was the last person executed in the Caribbean. St. Kitts and Nevis hanged Mr. Laplace on December 19, 2008 for the murder of his wife. Mr. Laplace’s case illustrates the challenges that retentionist countries face in ensuring adequate legal representation to persons facing a death sentence.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee comments that capital defendants should be provided with counsel “at all stages of the proceedings.” Yet it appears that Charles Laplace lacked the needed legal representation throughout critical stages of his post-conviction case.

The ECSC dismissed his appeal on the grounds that he filed it past the deadline. And although Charles Laplace could have made a final appeal to the JCPC, he did not do so. It appears likely that the government did not provide Charles Laplace with the necessary legal representation to assist him in filing an appeal or with his clemency application

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