Jury for non-capital murder to be reduced from 12 to 7
Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter - Radio
The number of jurors who try non-capital murder cases is to be reduced from 12 to seven.
Additionally, accused persons and the prosecution will be allowed to mutually agree to a trial by a judge in any case that would be otherwise tried by jury.
Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding, said the measures are part of efforts to reform Jamaica’s jury system.
Golding told the Senate today that the number of juror challenges without a reason given to the prosecution and the defence is also to be reduced.
Currently, either side is allowed seven challenges without stating a reason why that individual should not be empanelled.
The justice minister did not say what the new limit will be.
However, Senator Golding noted that there will continue to be no restrictions on the number of challenges made by the prosecution and the defence where they state the reason for their objection.
Meanwhile, the Justice Minister said steps are being taken to make the holders of a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) eligible to be called as jurors.
Public sector workers will no longer be exempt from jury duty.
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