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Opposition concerned about Attorney General's proposal for non-capital murder cases

Published:Wednesday | July 6, 2016 | 7:30 PM
According Golding, Jamaica has had bad experiences in cases of trials by judge alone in serious offences.

Former Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding is expressing concern about a proposal by the Attorney General to eliminate trial by jury in non-capital murder cases.

Non-capital murders are offenses that are not punishable by death.

The Opposition spokesman says he is not clear about the potential benefits that will arise by eliminating trial by jury.

According Golding, Jamaica has had bad experiences in cases of trials by judge alone in serious offences.

He says the conviction rate in the Gun Court where cases are tried by a judge alone is much lower than in the Circuit Court where cases are tried by juries.

 

Former Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding

In her presentation made in the Sectoral Debate in Parliament yesterday, Attorney General Marlene Malahoo-Forte said the government would seek to make amendments to various legislation in an attempt to tackle crime.

 

Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte Speaking in the sectoral debate yesterday

In addition to the Jury Act, the Attorney General made it clear that the Government will seek to once again amend the Bail Act.

But Senator Golding says the 2010 attempt by the JLP to restrict the citizen’s access to bail was a failure and was struck down by the court as being unconstitutional.

 

Former Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding