By Aaron Humes: In accordance with sections 52 and 54 of the Constitution, Cabinet has supported a proposal by Minister for Human Development Dolores Balderamos Garcia for the late Nora Parham to be posthumously pardoned from her murder conviction.
As we have reported, Parham was hanged in 1963 after being convicted of the murder of police officer Ketchell Trapp in Orange Walk Town. Parham allegedly set Trapp on fire after an argument but there remains dispute as to the sequence of events and possible domestic violence occurring between the pair.
Minister Balderamos-Garcia raised the issue on debate of the Domestic Violence Motion, 2022 at the last sitting of the House of Representatives, where it obtained approval from parliamentarians present.
In today’s Cabinet brief, the Executive said it was prepared to “correct a historic wrong in 1963. Cabinet is of the view that this will go a long way to focus attention on the issue of domestic violence.”
Under the Constitution, section 52 (1) (a), it falls to the Governor-General to “grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions, to any person convicted of any offence,” limited in subsection 2 to exercise “in accordance with the advice of the Belize Advisory Council,” a five-person group organized under the Constitution in Section 54 including a chairman, two members appointed with the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition and two appointed in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.
Cabinet concludes that “The Governor General will be kindly requested to ask the Belize Advisory Council to so recommend.” The Council’s decision, we note as provided for by the Constitution, shall not be challenged in any court of law.