(CMR) Skylar Mack is preparing to leave the Cayman Islands on Friday, January 15 subject to flight availability according to exclusive sources after a request to be pardoned was not approved.
She requested a pardon and remission of sentence under sections 39 and 40 of the Cayman Islands Constitution – it appears that talks were initiated by the US consulate with high ranking government officials in the Cayman Islands on her behalf.
A full pardon allows an individual to have their criminal record wipe for the conviction whereas a remission of sentence would reduce the length of time to be served.
A pardon could be given at any time including at the time of release or afterward.
Exclusive sources shared that Mack submitted an application to the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy (ACPM) several days after her appeal hearing reduced her sentence by 50%. This application fueled rumors that she has been granted a pardon which the Governor's Office confirmed was not true. This information coincides with the date that the rumor of a pardon being considered first circulated on Christmas Eve. Mack had her Court of Appeal hearing two days earlier on December 22.
Section 39 gives the governor the power to pardon someone after consulting with the ACPM Committee which includes the Attorney General, Samuel Bulgin, Dr. John Lee, Chief Medical Officer, Mr. Stanwick Myles, Cert. Hon, Mr. Arek Joseph, O.B.E., Mr. Carlon Powery, MBE and Mrs. Cheryl Reid Al Masri.
Since the pardon was not granted she applied to be released five days early which is a discretionary power of the prison director. We understand that has been granted which makes her eligible for release on January 15. Cayman Islands Border Control agency is currently working on making her flight arrangements to allow her to leave the jurisdiction.
If they are unable to secure a flight for her on Friday she would have to either be placed in police lockup for a short period or released on a monitor and placed in a guest hour or hotel at her expense. Ordinarily, she would have been placed at the Immigration Detention Center but that has been closed since Covid-19.
While her boyfriend Vanjae “VJ” Ramgeet did not apply for a pardon he did also apply for the five-day early release and it has been granted to him as well.
The ACPM did not provide any comment or information for this story only sharing details about the function of the ACPM and that this body operates “under strict confidentiality requirements and no matter related to the business of the ACPM is discussed outside of the meetings.” They further explained that:
“Members of and the Secretary to the ACPM are unable to confirm or deny whether any reqeust may or may not have been made by or on behalf of any specific individual in relation to the Governor's exercise of these constitutional powers”.
Mack became a media sensation around the world after her family made a plea all over American media to have her released from prison sharing she was an innocent 18-year-old young lady who has simply made a mistake when she breached quarantine. CMR was the first media house to break the news of the quarantine breach on Sunday, November 29 after she was warned for prosecution by the authorities.
Prisoners are expected to serve 60% of their sentence. She has been banned from the Cayman Islands whilst the COVID-19 provisions remain in place.
UPDATE: On Thursday morning the Governor's office confirmed the release date as stated above.
CMR has also confirmed that the next available flight date with Cayman Airways is on January 15.