Human Rights Council—Saint Lucia—Death Penalty—July 2020

On 9 July 2020, The Advocates for Human Rights and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty submitted a stakeholder report for the 37th Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. This report focuses on Saint Lucia’s use of the death penalty.

Saint Lucia has not reported any executions since 1995 and has effectively observed a moratorium on the death penalty since 2011. Nevertheless, the St. Lucian Constitution expressly authorizes the use of the death penalty for violent crimes, aggravated murder, hate crimes, and drug trafficking.

Additional challenges to the judicial system include inadequate protections for witnesses, limited forensic capabilities, and delays in processing evidence.

The authors of this report conclude with a number of recommendations for the government of Saint Lucia. Some recommendations include:

  • Abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence that is fair, proportionate, and in compliance with international human rights standards.
  • Ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, its Second Optional Protocol, the Convention Against Torture, and its Optional Protocol.
  • Ensure that detention conditions are improved, particularly with respect to food, health care, sanitation, and quarantine measures, so as to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19, particularly for people at greater risk.