Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2022. 2:55 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: In time for today’s memorial service at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery, the family of Nora Parham, 36, has received the instrument of pardon, delivered on behalf of Governor-General Dame Froyla Tzalam by Acting Governor-General Ambassador Stuart Leslie.
Acting on the petition by the House of Representatives and Senate in unanimity in May, Parham’s death sentence executed today, 59 years ago, for the murder of Ketchell Trapp in Orange Walk Town is revoked and she is pardoned. It was established that Parham was a victim of domestic violence and there remain questions as to exactly what happened between her and Trapp in February of 1963.
It is the first such exercise of the prerogative of mercy in Belizean history, a power accorded only to the Governor-General with the advice of the Belize Advisory Council (BAC).
Her eldest son, Harold Parham, after retelling the compelling story of Parham and her life, summarized the hope that the family carries after the pardon and today’s memorial: “…that all who hear and read about our mother’s unfortunate fate, will be able to see the facts and to dispel any negative gossip or false account of what transpired on that fateful afternoon. Today, the family looks at this event having sad and painful memories, but also with great joy.”
He also reiterated the need to protect victims of domestic abuse and have a system in place for recording cases, taking action, and having places of shelter in the major towns.
The gathering was attended by Prime Minister John Briceño and spouse and Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children Rossana Briceño; Minister of Human Development Dolores Balderamos-Garcia; Speaker of the House Valerie Woods; Mayor Bernard Wagner; Tracey Taegar-Panton representing the Opposition, and others.
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