Saint Lucia – Human Rights Council – The Death Penalty – March 2015

The Advocates for Human Rights – in collaboration with the Greater Caribbean for Life and the World Coalition against the Death Penalty - submitted a joint stakeholder report to the UN Human Rights Council for its November 2015 Universal Periodic Review of Saint Lucia. This submission describes Saint Lucia’s international human rights obligations with regard to its use of the death penalty.

Saint Lucia is de facto abolitionist and there has not been a reported execution in the country since 1995. Aggravated murder is a capital offense, but judges are allowed to consider several mitigating factors. In response to rising crime rates, however, Saint Lucian politicians have begun calling for a resumption in imposing the death penalty, creating fears that there might soon be a spike in the number of executions.

During the last UPR in 2011, many countries commended Saint Lucia for its de facto moratorium on the death penalty and further requested that Saint Lucia consider instituting a formal moratorium. Saint Lucia received more than 15 recommendations on the death penalty. It noted many of these, including all recommendations that called for a formal moratorium and/or abolition of the death penalty. The report notes that Saint Lucia has also failed to follow through on its 2011 commitments to build public awareness of human rights, which might reduce public support for the death penalty.