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May 22 is discount day for accused pleading guilty in Home Circuit, Gun courts

Published:Friday | May 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

The Jamaican Bar Association has announced that Monday, May 22 will be discount day for accused persons who plead guilty in the Home Circuit or the Gun court in Kingston.

Speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106FM this morning, Bar president Jacqueline Cummings said it's part of an effort by the chief justice and the steering committee of the criminal case management unit of the Supreme Court to cut the backlog in the court system.

"This initiative is going to help," Cummings said.

She is encouraging accused persons with cases before the Kingston courts to contact their lawyers and seek to have their matters listed for May 22 if they intended to plead guilty, so that they can benefit from reduced sentences.

Cummings also said, it was an approach used years ago to help to clear the court list.

IN PHOTO: Justice Minister Delroy Chuck

The Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has endorsed the initiative.

Chuck, who also appeared on the programme, said he will be seeking to replicate the initiative.

"I'm going to formalise that in the plea bargaining system," he said.

Chuck said accused persons may be better inclined to plead guilty if they know the exact sentence they will receive.

Jamaica has been severely affected by a huge case backlog in the courts with some cases on the waiting list for as many as nine years.