Monday 6 July, 2020

Canadian drug convict gets early release from governor general

Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen

Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen

A Canadian man who was convicted and sentenced to two years and six months in prison locally for attempting to smuggle 20 pounds of cocaine from out of the island, has been granted an early release by Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen.

In a news release, King's House said John Edwards left Jamaica on Wednesday under special conditions and at a cost to the Canadian government.

Edwards was caught attempting to smuggle the cocaine to Canada in September 2018, and was sentenced in the St James Parish Court two months later.

He was given a mandatory two-year sentence and was fined $1 million or six months' imprisonment for possession of cocaine, and $2 million or six months for attempting to export cocaine.

The sentences were to run consecutively to the mandatory sentence if the fines were not paid.

King's House said Edwards was scheduled to be released on July 6, 2020.

But having maintained a good record of discipline and behaviour, with no breach of the rules since his imprisonment, King’s House said in view of the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly in relation to international travel, the governor general took the decision to exercise the prerogative of mercy in respect of Edwards’ case.

King's House said in exercising the prerogative of mercy, the governor general acts on the advice of the Jamaican Privy Council.

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