Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Golding wants consultations before eliminating judge-alone trials for some murder cases

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 7:24 PMJerome Reynolds
Golding ... the percentage of cases which result in convictions in the Gun Court is substantially lower than in the Circuit Courts.

Opposition Spokesman on Justice, Senator Mark Golding, wants the Government to hold broad based consultations before eliminating jury trials for murder cases involving the use of a gun.

Debate on legislation to introduce the change started in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Government has argued that having judges alone hearing these cases will help to reduce the backlog in the court system.

But Senator Golding says that argument does not seem to be based on evidence.

He says there remains a greater backlog of cases in the Gun Court where matters are heard by a single judge as opposed to Circuit Courts where juries decide the fate of the accused.

The opposition spokesman further argues that the percentage of cases which result in convictions in the Gun Court is substantially lower than in the Circuit Courts.

Golding is urging the Government not to proceed until it consults broadly with the public, including key stakeholders in the justice system.