Sun | Dec 9, 2018

Abolish jury system

Published:Saturday | August 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM


The Jamaican justice system has many faults, but none more prevalent than our inept jury system. The 'institution' was designed to ensure an "impartial verdict submitted to the courts and, in certain jurisdictions, set a penalty or judgment".

The institution, by that definition, has failed superbly in our little country. Lack of participation by the citizenry, whether through general lack of interest or fear, has prevented the system from protecting the people of this country and putting those guilty behind bars.

Most recently, the chief justice pleaded with Jamaicans to "do their civic duty". Well, I think differently. I ask our dear leaders to do their civic duty and remove this archaic and useless part of our justice system. Courts and justice have operated quite well without them, as those following the Oscar Pistorius murder trial will well be aware. In South Africa, courts are made up of one judge and two assessors (minor judges).

So as we mark the beginning of Jamaica's 53rd year of Independence, let us provide the people with the gift of renewal and progression. Let us scrap a system that no one really wants and is really counterproductive to its aim. Let us abolish the jury system.