Jamaican Judge Releases Cop Killers, Without Explanation.

If you thought you had heard it all as it relates to the mad­ness that exists on the Island of Jamaica fol­low these blogs. Many who live abroad but would like to relo­cate to Jamaica will truth­ful­ly tell you they are restrained from return­ing to the land of their birth because of a pletho­ra of rea­sons, not least of which is the inor­di­nate­ly high crime rate that has plagued the Island nation for decades. I for my part have been sound­ing the drum-beat for a long time about the run-away crime and the rea­son it con­tin­ues to be so. There is no one issue that fuels the high crime rate in Jamaica, and as such the solu­tion will have to be a mul­ti-faceted approach to fix­ing it .

No issue stands out in the con­tin­ued decline of our Country’s moral fibre than the break­down in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, as I have point­ed out in these blogs some of the peo­ple tasked with adju­di­cat­ing are lit­tle more than crim­i­nal sup­port­ers them­selves. Jamaica’s Judges have always been a lib­er­al bunch ‚many hav­ing done their law degrees in England ‚not a Country known for deal­ing deci­sive­ly with hard­ened crim­i­nals, most oth­ers are schooled at the University of the West Indies , a place that is fast becom­ing a laugh­ing-stock , a place where Vybz Kartel deliv­ered a lec­ture, a place that has been for decades, a lib­er­al socialist/​communist breed­ing ground. The University of the West Indies have been a place from which the Communist news­pa­per the strug­gle was born, and lec­tur­ers like Trevor Munroe were heroes.

It is no won­der then, that those who grad­u­ate from that insti­tu­tion would be less than ide­al for the pur­pose of admin­is­ter­ing deci­sive jus­tice even putting aside the archa­ic penal­ties on the books. As I have point­ed out time and again the great­est deter­rent to crime is soci­ety’s deci­sive actions in catch­ing crim­i­nals and putting them away for lengthy peri­ods of time. Will those actions erad­i­cate crime? No! but since the bleed­ing hearts in soci­ety have won the day and law-abid­ing cit­i­zens have cow­ered in fear from hav­ing mur­der­ers pay the ulti­mate price, then that is the next best thing.

Jamaican Judges have as a sin­gle unit, tak­en a wreck­ing ball to our coun­try’s National Security, Jamaica is now a tri­al lawyers par­adise. Trial lawyers are a pow­er­ful lob­by group in Jamaica and they do not need to do much in terms of influ­ence ped­dling on a pop­u­la­tion that is large­ly illit­er­ate, and to a large degree cor­rupt. In Jamaica any­one who is some­one knows every­one who is some­one. Ok I know that was a lit­tle like, huh ? but you get the pic­ture. My point is influ­ence ped­dling is real­ly easy when one con­sid­ers that most crim­i­nal lawyers and the Judges attend­ed the same law schools and are part of the same clubs and organizations.The aver­age Jamaican is real­ly shut out of the process.

When Criminals are let off eas­i­ly cit­i­zens have no faith in the sys­tem, if they have no faith in the sys­tem they turn to local enforcers for a dif­fer­ent brand of jus­tice, they do not report crimes to the police, if they do not report crimes to the police the police becomes irrelevant,criminals become embold­ened, which breeds more crime. The most ardent advo­cates for an inde­pen­dent Judiciary with­out over­sight are trail lawyers, why is that? what is their inter­est? I’ll tell you , if your friend the Judge is unre­strained in what he or she can do as it relates to your client would­n’t you want an unre­strained Judiciary? Jamaica’s Judges are some of the most activist in the world , it is not uncom­mon for them to blast a Ministry or the entire Government from the bench, even though they are hired and paid by the same Government. They use the bench to berate the police and any­one who has incurred their wrath, in essence the deco­rum and air of being above it all does not apply to them. They berate poor­ly trained over worked pros­e­cu­tors, while cheer lead­ing defense attor­neys.

None of this is lost on the crim­i­nal ele­ments who are usu­al­ly sit­ting right there in the court-rooms watch­ing and laugh­ing at police and hap­less ill pre­pared pros­e­cu­tors. As we have done when we see these despi­ca­ble acts we bring them to your atten­tion so you may decide , you be the judge, no pun intend­ed, you thought you have heard it all well not quite .


JUSTICE Lennox Campbell on Wednesday drew fire from the direc­tor of pub­lic pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) after he abrupt­ly ter­mi­nat­ed jury selec­tion and sent home the four men charged with the mur­der of a retired police offi­cer 12 years ago. Between Monday and Wednesday, 11 jurors were empan­elled out of the required 12 to com­plete the pan­el when Justice Campbell, who had been seething over the issue of jury short­age since Monday, expressed his frus­tra­tion and told the men that they were free to go. “Go home,” Campbell told the men in the Home Circuit Court. “I’m not giv­ing you a date to return. Good-bye.” Campbell also removed the report­ing con­di­tion of the men — Byron Johnson, Solomon Johnson, Devon Hackett and Carlos Williams — who were on bail. Surprised by Campbell’s direc­tive, Diahann Gordon Harrison, the deputy direc­tor of pub­lic pros­e­cu­tions assigned to the case, sought clar­i­ty but the judge insist­ed that he would not be set­ting a return date for the men. Both the pros­e­cu­tion and defence lawyers protest­ed, sug­gest­ing that the jus­tice order the police to select per­sons from off the streets (known in legal cir­cles as tails­men) to fill the one remain­ing slot on the pan­el, but Justice Campbell was firm in his deci­sion, say­ing that the case had been before the court for the past 11 years and that each accused per­son had the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to be tried with­in a rea­son­able time of being charged. Campbell also upbraid­ed the pros­e­cu­tion over the short­age of jurors despite the fact that it is the court staff and the police offi­cers in charge of deten­tion and courts who are respon­si­ble for procur­ing jurors, through the process of sum­mons­es. Defence attor­ney Valerie Neita-Robertson inter­vened on the part of the pros­e­cu­tion but she, too, suf­fered Justice Campbell’s ire. Contacted by the Observer short­ly after court, DPP Paula Llewellyn said that Justice Campbell did not act in accor­dance with the law in send­ing home the men. “The course adopt­ed by the learned tri­al judge for the dis­pos­al of a Circuit Court mat­ter was the wrong approach,” said Llewellyn, who not­ed that her office had been mak­ing con­cert­ed efforts to rid the court list of old cas­es. “In all my 26 years as a pros­e­cu­tor I have nev­er seen any­thing like that. I am extreme­ly dis­ap­point­ed by the judge’s action; that is noth­ing but a nul­li­ty,” Llewellyn said. Llewellyn said that a case before a jury can only be dis­charged in one of four ways — by the pros­e­cu­tion enter­ing a nolle pros­e­qui; a pan­el of jurors being direct­ed by a judge to return a for­mal ver­dict of not guilty if the pros­e­cu­tion offers no fur­ther evi­dence; the uphold­ing of a no case sub­mis­sion at the end of the pros­e­cu­tion’s case; or a pan­el of jurors return­ing a ver­dict of not guilty after delib­er­a­tion on evi­dence pre­sent­ed dur­ing a tri­al. The men were joint­ly charged with the December 1999 shoot­ing death of retired police Corporal James Calder McDonald in Seaforth, St Thomas. McDonald’s throat was also slashed and his firearm stolen.The case has been on the Home Circuit Court list since September 17, 2001. Court records indi­cate that there were 38 tri­al dates and adjourn­ments were grant­ed over the years for var­i­ous rea­sons, includ­ing a short­age of jurors. The men can be re-arrest­ed and brought back before the court or sum­mons issued for them to appear.jamaica observ​er​.com

The Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn says she’s disappointed at the manner in which the judge threw out the case- file photoFrom left: Resident Magistrates Viviene Hall-Harris, Sandria Wong-Small, and senior resident magistrate for St James, Winsome Henry, in conversation with Justice Lennox Campbell. - File

Gleaner pho­to of Campbell with Resident Magistrates

Yes the case has been before the courts for too long, yes the accused men are enti­tled to due process,yes the accused men are enti­tled to a jury tri­al of their peers in a time­ly man­ner, yes eleven years is way too long for a case to be lan­guish­ing in the courts. But whose fault is it?

Is it the fault of James Calder or his family?does the right of the accused men super­sede the right cor­po­ral Calder had to life? And if so is there any won­der why the sys­tem is now reduced to a cesspool of cor­rup­tion and graft? How does Lennox Campbell the “ground God” explain his actions as per the argu­ments made by DPP Llewelyn as to the ways in which a case may be dis­charged by a Judge, or does his lord­ship even need to account ? The Charlatans at the Criminal Rights lob­by group Jamaicans for jus­tice,those at fam­i­lies against state ter­ror­ism and all the oth­er ter­ror sup­port­ing groups are duplic­i­tous­ly silent. Had a judge released a police offi­cer from his/​her oblig­a­tions to answer to a charge of homi­cide against a typ­i­cal low down dirty scum bag crim­i­nals irre­spec­tive of the amount of time that had elapsed , all of the afore­men­tioned ter­ror sup­port­ers would be up in arms con­demn­ing that judge, yet they are all silent when Campbell releas­es these mag­gots who slashed the throats of this offi­cer and stole his weapon.

There is no statute of lim­i­ta­tions for mur­der there­fore it is real­ly not up to lord Campbell to decide to send these scum home, fail­ure to empan­el a jury is not the fault of the mur­dered police offi­cer or his fam­i­ly, it is the fault of the judge , in this case Lennox Campbell, it is the fault of the cor­rupt sys­tem that obtains there that makes it almost impos­si­ble after eleven years to empan­el a jury . What does it say about a coun­try when it becomes nec­es­sary to release mur­der­ers who kill police offi­cer because a judge can­not empan­el a jury?

Mini Gods like Campbell and oth­ers named on this site have tak­en it upon them­selves to admin­is­ter their indi­vid­ual brand of jus­tice in a coun­try where they are called “your lord­ship” They have sim­ply believed their own press. Those who call for a judi­cia­ry with­out over­sight bet­ter be aware of what they are clam­our­ing for, the tri­al lawyers know what they are ask­ing for,but the aver­age guy on the streets that wants judges to be total­ly free from over­sight or account­abil­i­ty have no idea what they are advo­cat­ing. Kern Spencer’s crim­i­nal tri­al is no fur­ther to a res­o­lu­tion than when it com­menced because a Resident mag­is­trate refus­es to recuse her­self from the case even when it is clear that her utter­ances has prej­u­diced the case against the peo­ple, what is the recourse of the peo­ple ? you tell me, there is no recourse the case is still in lim­bo and the same Magistrate is in charge, (anoth­er mini god)

Jamaica is not a coun­try like Barbadoes that has a large­ly edu­cat­ed pop­u­la­tion, the major­i­ty of the peo­ple who are poor and une­d­u­cat­ed look up to those who are able to read much less those who are edu­cat­ed and/​or wield pow­er, at every turn those who wield pow­er and are revered by the peo­ple use the pow­er they have to dis­re­spect the peo­ple. Jamaican judges have sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly dis­re­spect­ed the peo­ple by using their posi­tions of pow­er to leg­is­late from the bench when their func­tion is to aju­di­cate, to inter­pret the laws and admin­is­ter jus­tice impar­tial­ly.

Supreme Court Judges are demand­ing more secu­ri­ty as the coun­try gets more and more law­less, by the way it is the police who are sup­ply­ing the secu­ri­ty to judges like Lennox Campbell, oh I would rel­ish that assign­ment to pro­vide secu­ri­ty to Lennox Campbell , his lord­ship.

2 thoughts on “Jamaican Judge Releases Cop Killers, Without Explanation.

  1. Beckles, I am flab­ber­gast­ed and dumb struck at this judges action . I agree you about the rights of the defen­dants , but I am sure the high court judge is aware of the pro­to­col involved with chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances such as this one. This is evi­dence of pock­ets of inept judges in the sys­tem that need to be root­ed out . Unfortunate , its not eas­i­ly done as the con­sti­tu­tion pro­tects judges and any removal would require some egre­gious act in breach of the con­sti­tu­tion­al pro­vi­sions that will end his stint as a judge. I dis­agree with you though with the ref­er­ence and impli­ca­tion that this is attrib­uted to where they were trained whether United Kingdom or UWI . I think also you high­light­ing that UWI is the Breeding ground for com­mu­nist has no rel­e­vance here . But , tru­ly this judges action is of great con­cern .

    • I encour­age you to do a lit­tle his­tor­i­cal research, just as far back as the 1970’s, look at the rhetoric and influ­ence com­ing out of that insti­tu­tion ‚à la Trevor Monroe etal, jux­ta­pose that with where in the soci­ety they are posi­tioned today and things will be a lit­tle clear­er. The UWI is a lib­er­al left lean­ing Institution peri­od, and yes that lean­ing impacts it’s grad­u­ates sir. I am sur­prised you would think the place of one’s for­ma­tive train­ing would be non impactive on one’s behav­ior, real­ly?

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