SVG

Ex-teacher Grantley Bramble, 2 murderers released from prison

Former teacher Grantley Bramble has been released from prison (Photo: Searchlight.vc)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – A former teacher who was in 1997 sentence to 20 years in prison for rape, now has a chance to see his son graduate from secondary school, a wish he expressed publicly two years ago.

Grantley Bramble was among three persons released from prison last week after a meeting of the Prerogative of Mercy Committee, according to a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister.

Cordelia Stephens and Anthony Robinson — the longest-serving prisoners — who were convicted of murder in 1989, were also released.

The two had previously had their sentences reduced to life imprisonment.

The Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, last week recommended the release to Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne.

The recommendation was accepted and Stephens and Robinson were released on April 5.

Bramble was recommended to the Cabinet for release, under the Convict Licence Act, Cap 169, as amended by Act No. 23 of 1988.

Under this Act, the Governor General may grant a licence to any prisoner, to be at large during a portion of their imprisonment.

Cabinet approved Bramble’s release and the Governor General subsequently issued the licence.

Bramble, who was serving the sentence for his second rape conviction, is required to report his place of residence, or any changes to his place of residence, to the police on a monthly basis until the remainder of his sentence has elapsed.

Section six of the Convict Licence Act states that “if any licence holder is convicted either by the verdict of a jury or upon his own confession, of any offence for which he is indicted, his licence shall be forthwith forfeited by virtue of such a conviction”.

Bramble, on Aug. 29, 2010, said he was hoping that prison would not rob him of the chance to see his son, 14 years old at the time, graduate this year, Searchlight newspaper reported then.

He was speaking at a rally to commemorate the first anniversary of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and Concerned Residents of Redemption Sharpes and its Environs (CRRSE) organization at Redemption Sharpes

“I have one son left in school and graduation coming soon and I can’t be there … sometimes I does lay down on me back and stare at the ceiling and when I can’t tek it no more, I does take a shirt and put it over me face and I go bawl so the other jail men can’t see me,” the newspaper quoted Bramble as saying.

Bramble’s son was 10 months old when he was imprisoned. The father of seven said that before his incarceration, he had already decided the schools he wanted his children to attend and their career paths.

He said that during his incarceration, he had tried to help fellow inmates become better persons and taught several subjects at the prisons.

Bramble’s poems, plays, and chorale speeches were often performed at the annual Prison Concert.

During the rally, he urged young men to avoid criminal activities. “Set your minds straight. Round there (prison) does make you feel small,” he said.

The other members of the Prerogative of Mercy Committee are the Deputy Prime Minister Girlyn Miguel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Godfred Pompey, physician Dr. Ellsworth Charles, National Security Adviser Sir Vincent Beache, and Pastor Adolphus Isaacs of the Gospel Hall church in Mesopotamia.

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Discussion

19 thoughts on “Ex-teacher Grantley Bramble, 2 murderers released from prison

  1. I think that the Prerogative of Mercy Committee was justified in pardoning the three persons.
    I prosecuted the case against Cordelia Stephens and her young lover, Anthony Robinson who plotted and killed
    Stephens’ husband known as “Little Jesus” , a religious man.

    It was a gruesome crime. Cordelia was 36 old at the time and Robinson was only 24 years of age and the deceased
    was 48.

    They were both sentenced to death by Justice Satrohan Singh after the jury found them guilty after deliberating for less than an hour.

    I am not in favour of the death penalty, and I supported a petition for the death penalty to be commuted to life imprisonment. They served more than 22 years in jail and although the slaying was brutal, I think that the Committee
    was justified in pardoning them since they have paid enough for the crime.

    I also feel that Grantley Bramble has suffered enough for the 1997 rape.

    Oscar Ramjeet
    former Solicitor General and acting DPP

    Posted by Oscar Ramjeet | April 10, 2012, 16:25
    • How shocking coming from a former Soliciter General and acting DPP! Imagine YOU are passing judgement that Grantley Bramble has sufferred enough for the 1997 rape? What about the underaged female victim/s who were raped? I am appalled by these comments/support to say the least…..it’s seems to be a MAN’s world …..Are we still back in time?

      Posted by Dennis Lampkin | April 12, 2012, 07:15
    • JUBILEE RELEASE?

      My one really big concern here is if any INTERESTED LAWYER, FORMER LAWYER, OR THEIR COLLEAGUES OR CHAMBERS were involved IN ANY WAY. The NANO APPEAL seemed to stink to high heavens, in my humble opinion — too much seeming co-mingling and overweaning ‘co-operation’. so-called. The COCAINE LORDS’ RELEASES WERE SHAMEFULL, BARE-FACED, BOLD-FACED AFRONTS TO OUR NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND INTEGRITY. The stench still remains to this sad day.

      Numerous cases give hints of the taints of injustice. Even some cases of murder, attempted murder, rape, and attempted rape. The “political cases” all seem to be outrageous farces. Those are the impressions I get in speaking with myriad, even uninitiated, Vincentians. PAX ET JUSTITIA. Stop the cynical political interferences in our courts and justice system. Each individual Vincentian OUGHT to be EQUAL to any other, BEFORE THE LAW.

      Please, guilty ones, JUSTICE MUST NOT ONLY BE DONE, IT MUST BE ALSO SEEN TO BE DONE. Retribution is a very serious matter. And, experience is a very brutal, even if sure, teacher.

      Ramjeet, did the actors involved in this PRISONER RELEASE, especially the so-called MERCY COMMITTEE, ask the VICTIMS’ OFFENDED RELATIVES FOR THEIR CONSIDERED OPINION as to whether these CONVICTED FELONS had “PAID ENOUGH FOR THE CRIME” ?

      SEEING THAT YOU WERE “PROSECUTOR” in this case OSCAR, are you also making sure to ‘appoint’ or IMPOSE YOURSELF ALSO as JUDGE and “non-EXECUTIONER” ? Isn’t something improper, inappropriate and obnoxious about your interfering at this delicate time? Wouldn’t this be an ASSAULT ON LEGAL ETHICS and PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT ? As a concerned Vincentian citizen, performing my patriotic duty of vigilantly guarding against increasing encroachments against our legal and constitutional freedoms and NATURAL RIGHTS, I find your even attempting to mouth off on these cases, particularly the murder case, to be highly offensive.

      The question needs to be asked: Were these released done, EACH and every one, on NON party-partisan, NON-parochial, grounds. The Copycat seems to seldom does ANYTHING without some narrow selfish motive. A corollary: WERE THESE THE ONLY SUCH “DESERVING” CASES, or, THE FIRST IN LINE ? Were ANY passed over due to narrow partisan political machinations?

      However, akin to the MAD-HOUSE inmates, THERE ARE A LOT MORE CRIMINALS OUTSIDE THE PRISONS THAN INSIDE. Indeed, we fully expect a lot of the crooked, corrupt among the politicians to soon populate the NEW MASON HOTEL. No reprieve for them. We may start with the “politically convenient fire-bugs” as a first course, then proceed with the financial criminals among them…

      DESPITE ALL THE FOREGOING, I feel that this struggling State could choose to do something big. This matter of forgiveness and recociliation could be a matter to give serious, NOT POLITICAL OR IDEOLOGICAL, consideration. I suggest that we use the occasion of THE MONARCH’S JUBILEE to give an extensive pardon to MOST of our current crop of incarcerated brothers and sisters. I hold no sympathy for cold-blooded murderers, though I appreciate that there may sometimes be miscarriages of justice, wrongful convictions, and even peculiar “crimes of passion” or “revenge” cases where the Government or justice system had blatantly failed to do their duty [I know: controversial]. I think absolutely certain cases of AGGRAVATED RAPE should be added to the capital crimes list. WITH THESE PARDONS, WE OUGHT TO THEN FULLY RE-INSTITUTE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT in cases of murders where there is absolutely no doubt. And, the sentences of the DEATH PENALTY SHOULD BE SWIFTLY AND EXPEDITIOUSLY CARRIED OUT.

      Consider for a moment the FISH-GUN murder on Bay Street, near Voyager. For me, definite provocation — and conceivable self-defence. Then the “Biabou” murder where the planter would parade around bragging in the rum shops about his successfuly cockolding. Then the agricultural labourer heard once too often, got in a rage, and exacted his revenge. In full revenge, he, too, paraded the dead body around the place. Then some relative went on NBC SEARCHLIGHT programme every week-night and campaigned into eventually getting death row to activate. Tells of the sick fickleness of our powers-that-be. My considered opinions, mind you. For what it is worth. Nothing??? Well …

      In cases of non-capital felonious crimes by “under-aged” youth, we should release these offenders ONLY TO PROPERLY ESTABLISHED ‘OFFENDER’S SCHOOLS/ INSTITUTIONS’ or authorised monitored “apprenticeship” programmes. Re-institute more serious penalties, even as before, for the parents of minors in cases of under-aged capital crimes. But, free parents, and teachers, of the stupid liberal strictures and rules, half-baked “rules” from the degenerate metropole. PUT THE PARENTS, AND TEACHERS AND POLICEMEN BACK IN CHARGE. Promote the traditional place of the FATHER in the SVG home.

      No person accused of rape, charged with such offense, or would norally otherwise be objected to by Vincentians, should be allowed or permitted to have anything to do with this Jubilee, or the periodic/annual, release of persons found guilty of the societal high crime of RAPE.

      Someone mentions that these so fortunately release prisoners should endeavour to be productive and constructive with the rest of their natural lives, and do compensatory communal service. That voluntary choice is laudable, and advisable for truly repentant criminals. I unenthusiastically acknowledge the pardon of my former colleague Bramble, and dearly hope that he would make the best, mitigating, use of his so damaged life. A pardon is a pardon, and I accept that verdict also. Do good, my countryman.

      I most strongly favour a Vincentian jubilee from all non-lethal, non-violent crimes, and even certain debts voluntarity pardoned. We need to rectify this struggling microcosmic society. An appropriate land distribution wihout political chicanery and bobol would also be a plus, here. Let’s think of some creative ways to positively rebuild this nation of ours — so sadly neglected, devastated, and debilitated by some sixty years of local political degradation. At least, something to chew on. QUO VADIS, HIROUNA. Look forward, SVG.

      My fellow Vincentians: the Euro-Americans are spinning their social and societal tops just in mud. They are FAILING abysmally. They base their perverted ‘criminal psychology’ on the twisted imaginations of a COCAINE ADDICT and INCESTUOUS PERVERT called ‘Sigmund Freud’. That’s the real hopeless source. THEY DO NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS, SIMILAR TO THEIR BACKWARD RUSSIAN COMMUNIST KITH AND KIN. Their social development rules frequently derive from their aged, decaying, decadent societies. The Marxist-Leninist mass-murderers are even worse, more immediately fatal.

      So, atheistic communists like dotish castro, his Copycat comrade, and the ‘coup-leader’ sulphur man DON’T EVEN HAVE A CLUE, much less. Cheers, guys.

      Posted by STEVE_ HUGGINS | May 2, 2012, 12:41
  2. We may have conflicting views about the release of these prisoners, but the fact is they have been pardoned by God if they asked Him and the Mercy Committee too. Let’s all assist them in settling back into society because I am certain that they can make a positive contribution. I was overcome with emotions when I heard of Mrs. Stephens’ release because I had the opportunity for the very first time to visit the female prison the last Sunday in February and my life was changed. I was able to minister to them and they were all so very receptive. Mrs. Stephens was no doubt a tower of strength for the other prisoners. If it’s possible, try and do a visit to that prison and you will understand what it’s like being there. Yes, many of them deserve to be there but let’s remember that we all make mistakes in life.

    At the same time, let’s pray for the family of the victims these released prisoners would have hurt that they will forgive and move on.

    Posted by justice | April 10, 2012, 16:35
  3. I am so happy my brother is out of prison.

    Posted by vastina Browne | April 10, 2012, 16:35
  4. They should have let them complete their full sentece…after all they have committed heinous crimes.

    Posted by Kevin Thomas | April 10, 2012, 16:58
  5. This is a commendable gesture by that committee, and I applaud them. I hope these men take full advantage of their second chance and stay out of trouble. My only beef is the make up of that committee. It sounds too political, and politics should have no place in these type of decisions. There should be no more than two politicians on that committee with one being from each party. The other members should include nonpartisan and upright members from our community, and at least three from the Clergy. Mercy and Clemency should not be corrupted by politicians.

    Posted by Eric Williams | April 10, 2012, 17:06
  6. it appear as though everybody getting away with crime in svg. imagine after murdering another, persons could just walk free because a group of persons so decide…what about the persons who were wronged or persons who lost their loved ones who standing up for them…we dont even hang anymore. if anything happened to me is better they dont waste time say they having court ..because soon the criminal/s would be back on the street.

    Posted by joel | April 10, 2012, 21:04
    • Well said, Life in St Vincent is worst less than a slice of bread it seems.

      Posted by blane | April 11, 2012, 00:19
      • What I really do not understand is why someone( a school teacher) who is charged for raping an underaged girl or for being convicted for more than one rape charges could be released before time….Was the Women’s Council consulted on this matter? Given the high incidence of rape and social injustices against women and children in the vincyland, how can the Mercy Committee and cabinet be so insensitive to the plight of women in the society?
        Moreso, just after boasting of having the first Congress for Women of SVG a few weeks ago. What a SHAME……i hope the SVG Council of Women will show their mettle by speaking up on this slap in the face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

        Posted by Dennis Lampkin | April 12, 2012, 07:06
    • I agree with you. I don’t think the release of cold blooded murderers speaks well to the drastic increase in the number of murders we are getting in St. Vincent. We were thinking reintroducing the death penalty might act as a deterrent and slow the crime rate in SVG but now we are releasing them.

      Posted by Michele | April 27, 2012, 11:41
  7. I reserve my opinion until I have given these matters some serious thought.

    Posted by Peter | April 10, 2012, 21:42
  8. My brother was murdered and imagine the woman who murdered him was allowed to walk free from day 1. However, I never wanted the death penalty for her. Whether she was in or out of prison it did not make a difference to me. I believe that the hardest sentence anyone can get is to live with blood on their hands.

    Posted by Mourine | April 11, 2012, 02:19
  9. At some point in time we must show mercy, Christ was meciful to the thief on the cross next to him,he was also merciful to everyone who decided to crucify him. However, considering the current crimes rate in SVG and the modus operandi of these crimes,one has to wonder if it is big gamble whether this pardon will help criminals to face reality or it’s a door way to freedom for future convicts. I see less serious crimes going into pardon: Crimes such as family,self,and property defense homocide,money laudering,embezzlement,ect. But instead the two most serious and regular crimes in SVG, the mercy committee headed by Ralph Gonsalves decided to ignore. Lord help them. Gonsalves son just get a little handcuff and the Gonsalves want to break world news,no pardon for the police, whether he was wrong or right, but here Gonsalves influence the pardon of rapist and murderers. What kind of mad philosophy pervading the atmosphere over our Island.

    mr

    Posted by Prof-Dasilva | April 11, 2012, 20:29
  10. I hope that MR Bramble try to help people in his communiety, to stay out of prison and become better persons. In SVG we talk about violence everyday so do something for your people.God bless.

    Posted by BIRD | April 11, 2012, 22:35
  11. Dennis, remember too that the composition of the MC includes an alleged rapist. Happy for Mr. Bramble anyway.

    Posted by justice | April 12, 2012, 22:41
    • It is one ‘kind’ gesture to release Mr Bramble but then again I see this man ‘starring’ all over the newspapers like a celebrity with his wife and family making top news! This man should be so so grateful for his release after such an heinous crime that one would expect that he should want to keep a LOW profile! Instead I see a lot of publicity in the press and by legal minds supporting the release of a RAPIST! Front and back page headline news..

      This is very mind boggling and shameful to say the least….Please do not get me wrong, I am nothing saying the man or others should not be pardoned, what I cannot fathom is the public endorsement from so called high sources given the nature of the crime the man committed….and a wife who is bold enough to pose on front page with the RAPIST as if he is the greatest husband on earth!
      WHAT HAS GONE WRONG WITH OUR VALUE SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Posted by Dennis Lampkin | April 15, 2012, 08:27
  12. Having thought about the release of these three persons, I think that releasing them in this way sends the wrong message to young people.

    Crime is already out of control in SVG, this doese nothing to help, in fact it has the opposite affect.

    I also think that the merci committee has the wrong make up of people and Donkey Gonsalves should not be on that committee.

    Posted by Peter | April 14, 2012, 19:09

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