Man calls court a waste of time without hangings
A man pushing his handcart yesterday along Barry Street, downtown Kingston, openly expressed his disappointment with the colourful ceremony marking the opening of the new session of the Home Circuit Court because murder convicts were not being hanged.
"Waste of time, waste of time because they are not cracking the murderers necks," the man shouted, as the police marched along Barry Street to form a guard of honour in Justice Square in front of the Supreme Court.
The man told the few spectators who turned up to watch the ceremony that the murderers were only eating and getting fat in prison and the Government was not taking steps to hang them.
"Look how they shot dead the 90-year-old blind woman in Newlands (St Catherine), accusing her of being a police informer when the poor woman was blind and could not see," the man remarked.
"I cannot see why those men should live if they are convicted in court," he added.
Some of the spectators commented that the man had "good argument" and said they hoped to see an end to murders this year.
Chief Justice Zaila McCalla, in opening the new session, commented on the high crime rate in Jamaica. She said it was not that the number of cases was not being reduced, but that the level of crime in the country made sure new cases were added to the list each term.
More than half the 411 cases scheduled for trial during the term are murder cases.
Parliamentarians in November 2008 voted to retain the death penalty after members of the House of Representatives had a conscience vote on the issue. A year later, Prime Minister Golding told the House that his government was still committed to carrying out the death penalty.