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Verdict in Lancelot Smith case is a victory for justice - JFJ

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Human rights lobby group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) has welcomed the verdict of the Special Coroner's Court in the case of Lancelot Smith.

"For many Jamaican families, access to justice for abuse at the hands of the police is a long and frustrating journey. Last week's small victory is still only one step in holding accountable those responsible for violating the right to life," JFJ said in a release.

On January 14, a Coroner's Jury handed down a verdict of murder against unnamed police officers for the shooting death of Smith on December 2, 2009. The matter now proceeds to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who is responsible for initiating a prosecution in the Circuit Court.

JFJ, which provided legal representation on behalf of Smith's family, had called for a thorough and timely prosecution of the matter after the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to press charges against the police officers and referred the matter to the Coroner's Court.

"It is now again in the hands of the DPP to continue the process towards justice," the release said.

According to JFJ, "Smith's family has already waited six years for justice. It is the wish of Smith's mother to see justice for her son's death before she dies."