Crime/Justice, Local news, News

Criminal justice reform to St Kitts and Nevis

Published 8 May 2024

Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

By Attorney-General Garth Wilkin

In November 2023, we committed to bringing comprehensive criminal justice reform to St Kitts and Nevis as part of a multi-faceted approach to crime reduction.

It is important that our political leaders take no-nonsense legislative steps to deter our young people from participating in this destructive culture of gun violence.

I am therefore proud that 6 months later, the first suite of reform Bills will be tabled and debated in the National Assembly tomorrow: Thursday May 9.

Tune in at 10am to listen as we debate whether offences such as importation and possession of automatic weapons should carry a maximum prison term of 40 years and a fine of EC$500,000. The Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2024 also proposes that the maximum sentence for importation and possession of non-automatic weapons be increased from 15 years to 30 years with a maximum fine of EC$250,000.

The Bill also seeks to allow the Minister of National Security to declare a Gun Amnesty allowing persons to voluntarily surrender illegal firearms and ammunition without fear of prosecution during a specified amnesty period.

Under the Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Bill 2024, shooting with intent to murder is recommended to carry a significantly increased maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of EC$500,000, up from 10 years max.

The new Justice Interference Prevention Bill 2024 seeks to introduce specific offences for witness, juror and other justice officer intimidation, threats, harm and bribery. Witness interference, in particular, has been a recent scourge of our justice system.


You Might Also Like