Cop killer’s sentence reduced due to “egregious breaches” of constitutional rights

Cop killer’s sentence reduced due to “egregious breaches” of constitutional rights

“Die” Stubbs’ sentence will come to an end sometime in 2048

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Murder convict Stephen “Die” Stubbs yesterday saw his 45-year sentence reduced by 10 years as compensation for “egregious breaches” of his constitutional rights in trial delays and time served on remand.

Stubbs, now 46, and two others were convicted for the March 1999 murder of James Ambrose.

Stubbs had initially been sentenced to death for the “execution” of a police officer, and was later sentenced to life imprisonment on appeal and eventually sentenced to 45 years.

Stephen “Die” Stubbs.

Stubbs further appealed to the Privy Council, which ordered that he be resentenced on the basis that the appellate court had not taken into account the breach of Stubbs’ constitutional right to be “tried within a reasonable time”, nor had the court taken into account the period of time the appellant spent under sentence of death.

In its ruling, the Privy Council also said Stubbs was wrongly sentenced to the death penalty on a mandatory basis.

Yesterday, the appellate court reduced the 45-year sentence by five years as compensation for the breach of Stubbs’ constitutional rights and a further five years was taken off in consideration of the time he spent on remand.

He was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment from the date of his July 25, 2013 conviction, bringing the sentence to an end sometime in 2048.

“An otherwise reasonable sentence may [be] reduced to compensate for the breach of a constitutional right,” read the ruling.

“The sentence of 45 years’ imprisonment imposed on the appellant is a reasonable sentence under the circumstances.

Wayne Munroe, QC.

“However, having regard to the 14-year delay which resulted in a breach of the appellant’s right to a trial within a reasonable time and the two years spent under sentence of death, the appellant’s sentence is reduced by five years.”

Stubbs’ attorney Wayne Munroe, QC, argued that having regard to the constitutional breaches and time spent on remand, the appellant’s sentence ought to be reduced to 15 years.

To this, the appellate court said notwithstanding the “egregious breaches” of Stubbs’ constitutional rights, a reduction to 15 years from the date of conviction was not warranted.

Court of Appeal Justices Sir Michael Barnett, Maureen Crane-Scott and Milton Evans presided over the matter.