Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Trial delays could reduce attractiveness of plea bargaining – Bar Association

Published:Friday | September 22, 2017 | 5:11 PM

The Jamaican Bar Association is endorsing the use of plea bargaining as a measure to reduce the pile-up of cases in the courts, but its president is raising concern that the delays in getting trials under way may discourage accused persons to consider the option.

Speaking this morning on Independent Talk on Power 106, Jacqueline Cummings, said the lengthy starts to trials may cause accused persons to feel they have a greater chance of getting off if investigating officers and witnesses disappear by the time the court is ready to try the case.

 

President of the Jamaican Bar Association, Jacqueline Cummings

Also speaking on the programme this morning, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck agreed that the delays could reduce the attractiveness of plea bargaining.

 

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck

However, Chuck says prosecutors still have the option to enter into a plea bargain for cases that have been stretching on for three or five years.

He says it is the remit of prosecutors to weigh the factors affecting the case at hand and offer the appropriate bargain.