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Gov't tables law to give incentives to persons who plead guilty

Published:Tuesday | March 28, 2017 | 3:01 PM
Chuck ... the proposed law would enhance the current plea bargaining law which has been under-used.

The Government this afternoon tabled legislation in Parliament to provide for specific incentives such as reduced sentences for accused persons who plead guilty or who want to do so.

The new legislation will also repeal the existence of mandatory minimum sentences in Jamaica's criminal justice system.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck who tabled the bills, said the proposed law would enhance the current plea bargaining law which, he said, has been under-used. 

He also explained that the changes would allow defence lawyers to negotiate with prosecutors and then make recommendations to a judge on things such as penalties.

 

Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck

Chuck says, among other things, the proposed law makes provisions for a new judge to hear a matter if the judge overseeing the negotiation in a case rejects recommendations from the prosecutor and defence lawyers.

He says that will ensure fairness to the accused person.

The current Criminal Justice (Plea Negotiations and Agreement) Act which will be repealed to make way for the new legislation was approved in 2006.