At least eight people were sentenced to death. No executions were carried out; the last execution took place in 1986. At the end of the year there were 32 people on death row. A constitutional challenge to the death penalty was still pending a final decision. In September the Bahamas acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Eight men convicted on murder charges were sentenced to death, bringing the total number on death row to 30 men and two women. A decision by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) in the case of two Jamaican prisoners - that execution more than five years after sentencing would constitute "inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment" and that sentences should be commuted to life imprisonment - was applicable to at least nine prisoners in the Bahamas (see Jamaica entry). However, no final decision to commute their sentences had been made by the end of the year. In January the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Anthony Neely and Jeremiah Poitier who had challenged the constitutionality of the death penalty on the ground that neither the Constitution nor any other law specifies the method of execution (see Amnesty International Report 1991). A final appeal to the JCPC in London, the final court of appeal for the Bahamas, was still pending at the end of the year. Amnesty International appealed to the authorities to commute all death sentences and to amend the country's legislation to bring it into line with international standards by abolishing corporal punishment as it constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

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