Wed | Nov 22, 2017

Accused persons urged to take advantage of Sentence-Reduction Day

Published:Tuesday | October 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Deputy Registrar, Criminal Division of the Supreme Court, Tamsyn Bailey (left); Senior Defence Attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson Q.C.(centre); and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Andrea Martin-Swaby.

Attorneys and accused persons are being strongly urged to take advantage of the Supreme Court's second instalment of the Sentence Reduction Day initiative on Thursday and Friday of this week.

On Thursday, the programme will be made available at the Home Circuit and Gun Court Division of Kingston and St Andrew and on Friday at the St Catherine Circuit Court.

The Sentence Reduction Day initiative provides an opportunity for accused persons to enter a guilty plea and benefit from a maximum of up to 50 per cent reduction in their sentence, according to the provisions of the Criminal Justice Administration Amendment Act, 2015.

 

SECOND CHANCE

 

Deputy Registrar with the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court Tamsyn Bailey said while an accused person can normally benefit from a reduction in his sentence under the legislation, he would have to make the plea by a specific time in his case.

"If they missed the opportunity when they would have been entitled to that 50 per cent discount, on the [Sentence Reduction] days, they have [a second chance]. Even on the day in question, if persons wish to plead guilty, they will be allowed to do so," she said, adding that the amount of reduction in the sentence will be dependent on the circumstances of the case.

"I would implore accused persons, if you are guilty, to avail yourselves of this opportunity," she urged.

The Sentence Reduction Day programme, first done on May 22, is being implemented by the Criminal Case Management Steering Committee, which has as its mandate the implementation of policies and strategies that are geared towards the administration of justice in a timely manner in all the courts.

The initiative was implemented as a measure to reduce the large number of cases pending for trial.