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Attorney joins calls for judge trials

Published:Tuesday | June 5, 2012 | 9:54 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Prominent defense attorney Tom Tavares-Finson is calling for the Minister of Justice to take a serious look at amending the law, to allow judges to decide some trials which currently require jurors.

Tavares-Finson made the appeal in the Home Circuit Court yesterday, where a shortage of jurors stalled several trials.

The court was told that only 27 jurors were in attendance though 184 summonses were issued.

Justice Lloyd Hilbert then made a special plea for persons to ensure that they attend court and do their civic duty.

Yesterday, an attempt was made to try the case of the two men charged in the trial dubbed the Good Samaritan case.

However, only seven jurors were empanelled from the 27.

The case was then put off to Wednesday for the police to get additional jurors.

The accused in the case are André Ennis and Shane Brown, who are both labourers of Kingston addresses.

They are charged with the murder of Taiwo McKenzie and Jhanel Whyte who were kidnapped in November 2007 when they went to a location in Havendale, St. Andrew, to give medical supplies to an injured man.

The couple’s throats were slashed after a demand for a ransom was not met.