President George M. Weah, on Christmas Day visited the Monrovia Central Prison and released on parole 54 convicted inmates including remaining Grand Gedeans that were serving life sentences from various prisons around the country.
He cautioned all inmates that were released on parole to be law abiding and exhibit good behavior in society. The President also mentioned that the decision to offer clemency to inmates in various prisons around the country will always exist and those inmates with good behavior will be considered.
Speaking furthered, President Weah called on the Attorney General to work with the Judiciary to ensure that pretrial detainees are given speedy trial to avoid prisons over crowdedness.
The pardoned inmates, who were convicted of various crimes, came from the Monrovia Central Prison, Kakata Central Prison, Sanniquellie Central Prison and the National Palace of Corrections in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
The decision to grant executive clemency to the convicts is in keeping with Article 59 of the Liberian Constitution which indicates that “The president may remit any public forfeiture and penalties, suspend any fines and sentences, Grant reprieves and pardons, and restore civil rights after conviction for all public offences, except impeachments.”
The 54 pardoned inmates had varying conditions that qualified them for pardon. They included those chronically ill or of old age condition, misdemeanor, served more than half of their sentences, served at least ten years for capital offense for life sentences.