The state is asking that previously condemned killer Clyde Anderson Grazette be sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutor Neville Watson made the submission on Tuesday during Grazette’s re-sentencing hearing. He said the convict should be made to spend the “top end” of 35 years in prison before he is eligible for release from Dodds.
Grazette, from St Stephen’s Hill, Black Rock, St Michael, had been sentenced to hang for murdering 18-year-old Roseanne Griffith between May 19 and 20, 2001. He has been on death row since 2006.
He is now to be resentenced by Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius given the ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice that the mandatory death sentence for murder was unconstitutional.
During a Zoom sitting of the High Court Watson pointed to the aggravating and mitigating features of Grazette’s crime. He told the court that there were “significant, physical suffering caused to the deceased” and the crime against her involved sexual and or sadistic conduct.
“The offence was committed with a high degree of brutality, cruelty, depravity and [of a] callous nature,” Watson stated, adding that based on the evidence the crime was not spontaneous but premeditated.
He said there were no mitigating factors with respect to the offence.
“This is a bad case in my estimation. . . This is a case where a young girl going about her business not a care in the world just struck down at such a tender age in such a violent manner. Her humanity, her dignity stripped . . . with her underwear around her neck. This is a ripe case for life imprisonment,” the state’s attorney submitted as he pointed out that Grazette had several previous convictions “most of them dated” and was assessed at being a hig- risk offender.
But Grazette’s attorneys Andrew Pilgrim Q.C. and Sian Lange claimed that there were some differences in facts that the court needed to resolve.
Pilgrim argued that the prosecution pointed to “significant degree of brutality” as an aggravating factor. “But other than to say that it is a sexual offence, we don’t have details that provide information on the level of depravity and brutality in this matter.”
He added that there was also no evidence to show that the crime was planned ahead of time.
“The facts in the case don’t amount to anything like torture. It appeared to be have been an unfortunate, terrible sexual urge acted on and a struggle ensued as opposed to a plan to beat, torture or mistreat the victim of the crime in any a particular way.
“No doubt, we can assume that there must have been some suffering, there is absolutely no doubt, but I don’t think we can characterize it as significant without factual support,” Pilgrim added as he urged the court to give his client a definitive “number of years” in prison as opposed to “life imprisonment with a possibility of an early release.”
The defence attorney further urged the court to “take a hard look” at the 16 years that Grazette had already spent on death row when considering its sentence as he was “under a genuine threat” that such a warrant could have been read to him at any time.
He told the court that his client was still on death row
“That is a significant factor when considering a starting point,” he added.
Following the submissions Justice Cornelius adjourned the matter until April 5 when she will impose the new sentence on the convicted killer.