November 09, 2016
A MAN sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a policeman may contest his punishment in the Court of Appeal when he returns to court in January 2017.
Alexander Williams appeared in the appellate court for an extension of time application concerning the appeal he would like to have heard relating to the murder of Constable Truman Cooper in 1992.
As he missed the 21-day deadline for filing an appeal after sentencing, he must first apply for permission to be heard on appeal, which could be granted if he is able to convince the court that the challenge is likely to be successful. The appellant is representing himself in the proceedings, which were adjourned to January 19, 2017.
Williams and Sean Poitier were convicted and sentenced to death on August 16, 1993 for the murder of Constable Cooper. He appealed this to the appellate court, though his application was dismissed in 1995.
He also petitioned for leave to appeal to the London-based Privy Council but that application was rejected in 1996.
However, the Privy Council handed down a ruling in October of that year that executing a prisoner who has spent more than three and half years on death row would violate their constitutional rights to freedom from cruel and inhumane punishment.
The two convicts were to be hanged in January 1998, but that did not take place.
They were subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment nearly a decade later in 2007.
Lamech Johnson, Tribune Staff Reporter
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