AUDIO ... Shields asks: Was High Court judge who 'erred' in Boulevard murder trial sanctioned?
Former senior policeman, Mark Shields, is questioning if a High Court judge who presided over the Boulevard murder trial involving three policemen, has been held accountable for erring in rejecting a jury’s decision.
Supreme Court judge Horace Marsh had rejected a majority guilty verdict for Paul Edwards, one of the men accused of abducting and murdering two men from a plaza on Washing Boulevard in St Andrew in 2004.
At the end of the trial in January 2013, a senior cop, Victor Barrett was acquitted and the jury failed to return a verdict for the other cop, Louis Lynch.
Justice Marsh later ordered a retrial for Lynch and Edwards.
Yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, discontinued further prosecution citing the approximately $20-million to get overseas witnesses for the first trial.
She says she intends to revisit the case when the Evidence Act is amended to allow the use of video links to admit evidence.
However, Shields, who was a lead investigator in the case, says the action of the judge who tried the first case and the DPP has now resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
DPP Paula Llewellyn has argued that the Crown felt the judge erred by not abiding by an amendment to the law which allowed the acceptance of a majority verdict in murder cases.
Jamaica does not yet have a judicial code of conduct that formalises the expected behaviour of judges.
In the meantime, Shields is also expressing disappointment that more Jamaicans are not publicly expressing outrage at the decisions taken in the boulevard case especially since the State is accused of the murder.
The policemen were tried for the murder of 20-year-old apprentice mechanic Kemar Walters, of Kitson Town, St Catherine, and 44-year-old shopkeeper and blockmaker Oliver Duncan of Olympic Way, Kingston 11.
Their bodies have not been found.
DPP apologises to family in boulevard murder trial
Meanwhile, the DPP, Paula Llewellyn, is apologising for not informing the families of the victims in the boulevard murder trial that she intended to halt prosecution of the case.
Llewellyn told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that it was an oversight of her office given the time constraints faced by Crown.
And she explains that she will personally attempt to speak to the family today.
Meanwhile, the DPP is refuting Mark Shields’ claim that there was a miscarriage of justice in halting the trial.
She maintains the the decision was prudent in light of the tight financial constraints of public expenditure.
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