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Letter of the Day: CCJ fears grounded in ramshackle justice

Published:Tuesday | November 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Five men charged with the gruesome beheading of a 49-year-old mother and her 19-year-old daughter in July 2011 have had their trial postponed yet again till February next year. The reason given by the court is that 'another murder trial is in progress'.

But is this satisfactory? It is four and a half years since this slaughter took place and relatives are denied closure because of the kind of arrangements we have in our courts.

And that is not the only problem. Will there be any willing witnesses when the case is finally brought to trial? Will they be alive? This February date could have given the perpetrators four years and seven months to 'deal' with witnesses and evidence. This is why most of these cases end up with an acquittal.

Not far from where these beheadings took place, my neighbour's helper was gunned down. (That's one week before my gardener was killed because he caught a man stealing his things). Her crime? She had stopped to sympathise with her friend who had witnessed the slaughter of her own mother. And the killers just happened to choose that night to take care of witnesses. Oh! No one was even charged for any of those crimes, though everyone claims to know the perpetrators.

Proponents of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) claim that opponents are Eurocentric and feel that our own jurists are not as good as foreign ones. That may be so in some cases. But the overwhelming majority of the opponents are wary of the CCJ because they fear it may eventually be absorbed into the ramshackle system that passes for justice in this country. Too often, in this country, wrong continues to win by technicalities.

If we can run our hospitals as we do, can you blame them?


Stony Hill