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VYBZ KARTEL MURDER TRIAL: Juror excused after claiming difficulties

Published:Thursday | February 6, 2014 | 3:29 PM

Barbara Gayle and Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writers

The number of jurors at the Vybz Kartel murder trial has now been reduced to 11 after a juror dropped out today.

Before the trial resumed this afternoon presiding judge Justice Lennox Campbell informed that a juror had expressed that she was having a difficulty and can no longer serve.

Justice Campbell then excused the juror.

However, attorney Bert Samuels says a lawful verdict can still be reached by the court despite the reduced number of jurors.

He also notes that the law forbids jurors who have been excused, from rejoining the trial.

He also says there have been previous cases in Jamaica where the number of jurors trying a case has been reduced from the usual 12.

Samuels says because the case does not involve the death penalty option, a verdict with a majority of nine or more can be accepted.

The defense lawyer says there is no benefit to be gained by the prosecution or the defence. 

He says he has been concerned about the duration of the trial which started in November last year, and the effect on citizens who have volunteered to serve as jurors.

The attorney says given the length of time, there is an increased likelihood of adverse issues such as persons becoming ill or having to migrate which could affect the trial.

The Jury Act was amended in 2010 to allow for majority verdicts by juries.


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