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Defence lawyer accuses police commissioner of insulting judges

Published:Thursday | October 24, 2013 | 12:12 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

Top Jamaican defence lawyer, Valerie Neita-Robertson, has declared that the Police Commissioner's questioning of the sentences handed down in serious court matters is insulting to judges.

She says the continued public comments by Commissioner Owen Ellington are improper as he is attempting to influence judges by asking for harsher penalties.

Last week, the Commissioner reiterated that the work of the police is being hampered by light sentences that allow criminals to go back on the road in a short time and continue their activities.

However, Neita-Robertson argues that persons who come before the court bring material to argue why the harshest punishment should not be imposed on them.

She says judges acting in the public interest, should be allowed to hand down sentences as they see fit.

Yesterday, the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party also said certain actions from the judiciary and the Government have not been fully supportive of policing efforts.

Opposition Spokesperson on National Security and Justice, Delroy Chuck argued that there have been several instances in which judges have handed down light sentences to persons when harsher penalties seemed more appropriate.


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