Cabinet has approved drafting instructions for legislation to expunge the criminal records of three of Jamaica’s National Heroes and one notable ancestral freedom fighter.

Those who will be affected include National Heroes Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Samuel Sharpe and Paul Bogle; and Maroon Chief, Tacky.

This was announced by Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Olivia Grange, in a statement to the House on October 12.

Garvey was charged for contempt of court and convicted in 1929 for criticising Jamaica’s legal system, which he reportedly described as “oppressive”, while calling for laws to “punish judges who acted unfairly”.

He was fined £100 and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in the St. Catherine District Prison.

Sam Sharpe and Paul Bogle were convicted and hanged for their roles in the 1831/32 Christmas and 1865 Morant Bay rebellions respectively, while Tacky was implicated in the 1760 St. Mary slave revolt.

Grange cited the “widely held” view that the events for which the four were implicated were not criminal acts of rebellion or treason, but rather “acts of liberation with abundant moral justification”.

“Consequently, our heroes ought not to have the stain of criminal conviction accompanying their role as National Heroes. This Government is of the view… that our Heroes should be pardoned by the State as a means of blunting the edge of the sword of injustice and as a symbolic recognition of their struggle,” the Minister emphasised.

Consequently, Grange said the administration acknowledges that a statutory pardon/expungement, which originates in Parliament’s “supreme” legislative power, is required to “totally absolve them of any criminal wrongdoing”, in keeping with Section 90 of the Constitution.

“A statutory pardon would have the effect of saying that our National Heroes did not commit any criminal offence, as the acts cannot be construed as criminal in the first place,” the Minister explained.

Grange argued that in light of global lobbies to expunge Marcus Garvey’s criminal record in the United States, in particular, Jamaica had an opportunity to make a “definitive statement” to the international community by passing the proposed Bill.

“When this legislation is tabled in Parliament, generations to come will look back on that act as a defining moment,” she said.

The announcement was welcomed by Transport and Mining Minister Mike Henry; Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller; and Opposition Spokesman on Education Ronald Thwaites.


  1. Sly puss Garvey is a token hero! Measure him with General Tacky,Sharpe and Bogle and him weigh as much as a feather (no pun on weight )

      1. Your allegence to the words of a Ponzi schemer, great orator at best,that is your bag of Rocks to drag through life. Said it and will say it again…Garvey is a token “hero” and Pan-Africanism is phuckry.

        You can measure, cut and style me all you like… Garvey is a token hero.

  2. This brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. This is necessary and commendable. Our heroes are not criminals but fighters for justice.

  3. The article Differs from the newscast in that it was George William Gordon and not Sam Sharpe. It was Gordon who was found guilty n hung. Honestly he is my fav Hero only becuz he had everything to live for n going for him n he gave that all up to fight n Die for a just cause.the right cause..the Black man cause.

    U know how much millionaires n Billionaires inna Jamaica n the world over that nah fart pon poor ppl struggles?so long as them making their money n the crime n violence not at their door they won’t get involved.

    Gordon DiD so free up mi National Hero oh n yes I agree Garvey is the most significant of all our heroes and his contribution was greater to Mankind.I just feel Gordon made the ultimate Personal sacrifice!

  4. One of the best moves I have seen so far. The person above weh a chat crap has no idea what them talking about nor understanding of the man’s work and worth. Keep singing that backra master denigration card. He is one of the few black man to achieve what he has. Matter of fact many nations in African owe him their independence and self respect even the colors in their flags. Show me any other black man who has done half his level of work and then I will hear u with the garbage you spew. The whole ponzi crap was a “Jim Crow” attack on him so as to lock him up and shut him down. It wasnt strange they did it to many other influential blacks and also black communities that were doing well for themselves without kissing the master’s ass. But all this is opinion why not come with facts to prove ur shitty point?

    1. African nations owe Garvey their freedom. Guess idi Amin deserves his dues too :ngakak :ngakak

      What make a person a hero? Yardie knows best because Gordon was a true hero. Garvey Hon. M. Manley’s damn token for Jamaica black power movement, if not for such a movement, you wouldn’t be calling his name. We had more deserving corn feed Jamaicans.

  5. I asked a few people in Jamaica if they know anything about Jim Crow laws and nobody knew.Most Jamaicans are contributing to their own demise.Go and learn your history.

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