New court term opens, old problems remain
The new term of the Home Circuit Court in Kingston, the Easter Session, opened this morning with stakeholders lamenting the old problem of juror participation.
Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn disclosed that 1,000 summonses were sent out to the police to serve on potential jurors for this new term.
However, she said only 135 of the summonses were served.
The DPP said of that number, only 76 turned up for court today.
In relation, to the St Catherine Circuit Court which also opened today, Llewellyn said 400 summonses were sent out.
Only 22 were served.
Justice Gloria Smith said there is a need for educational programmes to inform citizens of their roles as jurors.
She asserted that cases cannot be tried without sufficient jurors.
Meanwhile, 527 cases are down for trial in the new Easter Session, which will end on July 31.
About 350 of those cases are murder-related.
The last term, Hillary Session, ended last month with only 63 cases disposed from the 556 which were down for trial.
Four-hundred-and-ninety-tree were brought over into the new term and 34 new ones added.