Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Letter of the Day | Al Miller’s out-of-court trial(s)

Published:Saturday | August 20, 2016 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Perhaps I should just remain silent on this issue since Al Miller, Garnett Roper and Devon Dick are long-standing respected friends and were my bosses at one time or another.

Al and I go back to the late 1960s in Youth for Christ, and I have preached at Fellowship Tabernacle numerous times and even worked for him in Whole Life Ministries for a few years.

Garnett, a fellow Montegonian, was my younger Jamaica Theological Seminary (JTS) classmate (1974-1978) and my boss as JTS president when I served on staff from 2011-2013. Devon is my current Jamaica Baptist Union president.

While I readily defer to the superior intellects of Garnett and Devon and acknowledge their superior access to sources of information arising from their positions of prominence in our country, I reserve the right to comment on aspects of their columns in The Gleaner on the Al Miller case.

Devon's column suggesting a need for Al to resign reflects general ignorance about a feature of law courts and was, for me, a tad insensitive, while Garnett's column regarding Al as 'fall guy' was instructive in a 'Beyond the Headlines' way. I explain.

I am no lawyer, though I have wanted to be one ever since my job in the courts in Montego Bay as a late teenager (before the Ark settled on Ararat).

Judges, as arbitrators of fact and law, deal with and decide cases on the basis of evidence adduced in court. But let it be clear that at times, cases are brought before a court, though crucial evidence is not made available to the court. Were such evidence made available to the court, a case could have been decided differently. I am here simply insinuating, because I cannot prove what I have in mind in a court of law. A word to the cowardly silent is sufficient!

 

Should have talked with Al

 

As was said in a Star Chamber movie I saw years ago, "Someone has ambushed justice and hidden it in the law."

Devon, as a clergy brother, should have talked with Al about the case long before the trial began and expressed prayerful concern.

Garnett's column suggested, to my mind, what I suspected - based on my limited knowledge of the details surrounding the case - that there were key players behind the scenes, still around with critical information (some of which failed to make it in court)!

I thank God that there will be an ultimate assize beyond our earthly courts to deal with culprits who skilfully escape our courts with or without help.

I know that, like me or better, like the Nazi Germany Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Al strongly believes in the necessity, at times, of civil disobedience and is prepared for the legal consequences of such disobedience.

CLINTON CHISHOLM

clintchis@yahoo.com