Wed | Dec 12, 2018

#VybzKartelAppeal | Lawyer says jurors were sent out too late to consider verdict

Published:Tuesday | July 17, 2018 | 12:35 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

It was a miscarriage of justice when the judge presiding over the Vybz Kartel murder trial asked the jury to begin deliberations on their verdict after 3 o'clock, the entertainer's attorney has argued.

Valerie Neita-Robertson, Kartel's lead attorney, made the assertion in the Court of Appeal this morning as she began presenting legal arguments to have the dancehall artiste's murder conviction and prison sentence overturned.

IN PHOTO: Valerie Neita Robertson 

According to the transcript of the trial, the 11-member jury was directed to commence their deliberations at 3:42pm on March 13, 2014.

They returned at 5:35 p.m, but was sent back to the jury room at 5:46 p.m. to continue their deliberations by Justice Lennox Campbell, who presided over the 17-week trial.

At 6:02 p.m they returned with the 10-1 majority verdict, convicting Kartel, his protégé, Shawn Storm as well as Kahira Jones and Andre St John of killing Clive 'Lizard' Williams at a house in Havendale, St Andrew in August 2011.

WATCH: VYBZ KARTEL APPEAL | Day 1 Round-up: Puzzling text message

Neita-Robertson argued that Campbell's decision to send the jury out after 3 o'clock goes against the benchmark that has been adopted by the Jamaican courts.

"The presiding judge acted with undue haste thereby causing the jury to come under undue pressure to arrive at an unsafe verdict," she argued.

The attorney said it was open to Campbell to have the jury consider their verdict the following day.

Forget Retrial, Shawn Storm's Attorney Begs Court

The attorney for incarcerated dancehall artiste Shawn Storm has urged the Court of Appeal not to order a retrial arguing that the case is rife with multiple deficiencies.

"These defects are incurable, I submit," said Bert Samuels as he concluded his legal arguments before the court this morning.

"And any attempt to cure them for retrial purposes would be to give the prosecution a second bite at an infected cherry," Samuels continued.

Added Samuels: "A second chance to make good on the evidence deficiency in the case."

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