Stubbs death penalty ruling next Wednesday
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Oct 25, 2013
The penalty phase of the Stephen “Die” Stubbs trial will come to an end on Wednesday when a judge sentences him and two others.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Stubbs, Andrew “Yogi” Davis, and Clinton “Russ” Evans for the 1999 murder of Constable Jimmy Ambrose at the now-closed Club Rock Disco.
The men were convicted of the offense in 2001 when the death penalty was automatically imposed for murder. However, that conviction and sentence were quashed on appeal in 2004.
They were convicted in July at a retrial.
Yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions Vinette Graham-Allen once again defended the prosecution’s failure to comply with sentencing guidelines by giving notice of their intention to seek the death penalty.
Defense lawyers Murrio Ducille, for Stubbs, Ian Cargill, for Davis, and Romona Farquharson, for Evans, complained that Graham-Allen was re-arguing an issue although the court had already ruled that the prosecution failed to follow established procedure.
Assistant prosecutor Ambrose Ambrister then argued the convicts’ failure to show remorse demonstrated that they could not be reformed.
After a series of objections that were overruled by Justice Roy Jones, the lawyers abruptly left the courtroom without seeking leave of the judge.
Graham-Allen said the lawyers’ actions were in breach of the professional code of conduct.
Jones said, “No one said anything to me.”
Graham-Allen said she wanted the incident to be placed on the record.
Jones adjourned the matter for 15 minutes after asking the convicts if they wished to proceed in the absence of their lawyers.
None of them agreed to the matter continuing without their lawyers present.
Ambrister said the case was an extreme and exceptional case of murder. He said fortunately only one life was lost as the men wantonly opened fire in a public place.
However, the defense lawyers countered that at the time of the incident it was not obvious that Ambrose was a policeman because he was not in uniform.
They said Ambrose’s death was a routine murder that did not meet the criterion of the “worst of the worst” that is required by the Privy Council for the imposition of the death penalty.
They noted that the Privy Council did not find that a man who decapitated another man during an armed robbery and then threw his head in a ditch met the standard of the worst of the worst.