by Kavon Fiennes
Jamaica’s first female DPP Paula Llewellyn has become the laughing stock of the Jamaican legal system. This has nothing to do with her gender. She is plain incompetent. Whenever she speaks in public, it’s as if one is watching a caricature of a real person.
The recent rulings on various court matters involving the Office of Public Prosecutor has revealed the utter foolishness going on in the Jamaican Justice System, and in particular her office.
Last week my colleague Cato Rand wrote a post entitled: “Justice, Jamaican Style”, where in he wrote of the great failings of Jamaican Justice. In today’s Sunday Gleaner, two separate columnists (see below), who are attorneys-at-law, have made calls to have the DPP removed. I fully endorse their positions. Of course that’s easier said than done. We can thank our founding fathers’ Constitution for that.
In the latest fiasco involving the Office of the DPP, defense attorneys made a no-case submission, on the legal grounds that the prosecution could not prove in essence that a dead man was dead, despite having a corpse and video evidence of the dead man being shot.
We must find a way to get Jamaican Justice on track. Here are the two columns:
Gordon Robinson, Contributor
Recently, it came to pass that:
The director of public prosecutions (DPP) found the case of a policeman caught on videotape shooting an unarmed citizen to death too difficult to obtain any conviction whatsoever;
The same DPP refused to prosecute the Cabinet for non-compliance of a contractor general demand, yet asked the Cabinet to comply;
As if that wasn’t sufficiently oxymoronic, the DPP also advised the Cabinet to seek a free opinion from a judge;
And, in international news, a self-help cardinal from Argentina, who utilised Muhammad Ali’s ‘rope-a-dope’ tactics in the early voting, thereby became the world’s first Pope on a rope.
Regarding the alleged shooting by that very lucky policeman, I now understand that we employ pathologists and permit them to return to faraway homelands years before their cases can be brought to court.
Seriously? It occurred to NOBODY that this embarrassment was likely? Nobody kept track of these wandering pathologists? Nobody insisted it be a term of their contracts that they return to testify as needed?
Whose fault is that?
Did the DPP exercise any foresight with a view to avoiding the eventual humiliation? Can a murder trial really be derailed because a pathologist went home to Mommy?….(Read More)
Matondo Mukulu, GUEST COLUMNIST
Widespread outrage has greeted the acquittal of Jamaican policeman, Sergeant Lloyd Kelly, who was allegedly caught on camera shooting Ian Lloyd, a man who was comparatively harmless. However, residents of Buckfield, St Ann, where he was shot have breathed a sigh of relief. For them, the deceased was a nasty piece of work, and Jamaica would be better without him.
There are issues of wider public importance that this case gives rise to. The first issue is the role of the State in protecting everyone’s right to life and what that really means and demands in practice. The second, and more emotive, is that of whether we need to revisit how we remove a director of public prosecutions (DPP) from office.
The State has a duty to protect our right to life. And if there are instances when a person dies, the State, in pursuit of its obligation to protect life, must have in place an effective system of investigating the cause of death.
It is for this reason why the State has a police force and why it makes laws to create sanctions to deter others from interfering with our right to life.
I have played the Buckfield shooting video over and over and I have come to one conclusion: there was a failure of the State to protect the life of the deceased, Ian Lloyd. While Lloyd was alive on the ground, the State, while pursuing its job of apprehending someone who it was alleged had killed someone, was equally under a duty to bring him to face the court.
While it was clear that he had thrown something at the police officer or had something in his hand, his right to life meant that in apprehending him, the State was obliged to use all reasonable/proportionate force. The proportionality of the force is to be judged by looking at the circumstances at the time……(Read More)