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Cabinet Agrees to Grant a Post-Humous Pardon for Nora Parham

A post-humous pardon for Nora Parham remains in the pipeline after Minister Dolores Balderamos-Garcia presented a motion to the House of Representatives on February 4. In last week’s Cabinet meeting, members agreed to have the request sent to the Governor General who would then pass the recommendation unto the Belize Advisory Council. It is believed that with this move, much attention would be given to the issue of domestic violence. Nora Parham was a Belizean woman who was hanged to death after being found guilty of killing her spouse. The annals of our history indicate that Parham was a victim of domestic abuse in the 1960s. She had eventually, doused her husband, Police officer Ketchell Trapp with gasoline when he attacked her. After the attack, on that night in February 1963, Trapp reportedly went to use the outdoor latrine, lit a cigarette and caught fire. During her trial, Parham admitted to throwing the gasoline, but said the fire was set when Trapp lit the cigarette. Ironically, as the PUP government seeks to give a post-humous pardon, it was the very same political party that had denied mercy to Parham following a petition with over two thousand signatures. The then PUP government reportedly denied Parham pity on the grounds that respect and authority should be demonstrated for the courts’ decisions. Nora Parham, the only woman to be executed in Belize, was hung on June 5, 1963 at eight o’clock in the morning. She was 36-years-old at the time of her execution, and was the mother of eight children.