KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The reconstruction of the gallows at Fort Charlotte is not in preparation for the hanging of anyone in particular, Prime Minister and Minister of Legal Affairs Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said Tuesday.
The gallows, last used 15 years ago, is being rebuilt as Patrick Lovelace sits on death row for the 2002 rape and murder of 12-year-old Lokisha Nanton.
Lovelace was in 2010 sentenced to death for the gruesome murder of the young pannist.
Her nude body was found hanging by her clothing from a mango tree in Sion Hill.
Lovelace’s death sentence stood when he lost his appeal.
His lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Browne, has signalled her intentions to appeal to the London-based Privy Council, this country’s highest court for such crimes.
But Gonsalves told a media briefing that the law requires that the gallows be readied when a person is in a situation where the death penalty could be applied.
Gonsalves said that when such a judgement is passed, the Director of Prosecution Informs the Attorney General who then informs him.
“I have obligations. If I am so informed, I have to ask the permanent secretary what is the condition of the gallows,” Gonsalves said.
He said that in such a situation he must “do certain things procedurally” under the Capital Punishment Procedure Act.
These include writing the sentencing judge for a report, informing the Committee of Mercy and at a later stage giving the convicted person the opportunity to have a presentation made to the Committee of Mercy.
“So all I am doing — it is not the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines or the Prime Minister is about to advise the Governor General to sign the death warrant for anybody.
“No. It is that persons with responsibilities have to do certain things. That’s all. Lawyers will have their own legal processes in which they do things. I have mine under the law and that is all what has been taking place,” Gonsalves said.