Tue | Jun 22, 2021

Letter of the Day | Give prosecution right to appeal

Published:Wednesday | July 31, 2019 | 12:00 AM


In the scheme of things, the ordinary man on the street would have expected that a person who confessed to stabbing another man 12 times, and an elderly woman three times, would have got a lengthy sentence. But that was not the case in the recent sentencing of Jeffrey Campbell, the man accused of committing the heinous crime in Linstead, St Catherine, in 2013. He was given six years.

This decision, to the ordinary man, understandably, would seem to be an injustice and disproportionate to the crime committed. The fact, too, that the prosecution was unable to challenge such a decision by the High Court judge makes it an even greater concern.

Making allowances

Indeed, It is matters of this nature that generate national interest and should prompt lawmakers to review our justice system to make allowance for the prosecution to appeal what they might believe to be an imprudent verdict or sentence. The Jeffrey Campbell case should be the catalyst to this reform.

Our justice system was fashioned off the English legal system. The latter embraced the concept of appeal by the prosecution. However, for some reason, our lawmakers have not seen it fit to adapt this feature in our legislation, which, in my view, would balance the scales for both the prosecution and defence, given that defendants already have this right.

The fact that the judge, in contemplating sentencing in the Jeffrey Campbell case, would have been constricted by sentencing protocol does not reassure the family of the deceased and sceptics of a judicial system that seems to favour a certain class of persons, and is ineffective in addressing deep-seated corruption.

Giving the green light to prosecutorial appeal could be a starting point that could address some of the niggling issues.



Greater Portmore, St Catherine