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US report: Jamaica’s judicial system, overburdened, under resourced and ineffective

Published:Saturday | March 1, 2014 | 8:07 PM

The United States is again shining the spotlight on the issue of extra-judicial killings in Jamaica.



In its 2013 country report on human rights practices, the US State Department says unlawful killings and the violation of citizens’ rights by the security forces were among the most serious abuses in Jamaica.



The report also cited what it describes as Jamaica’s overburdened, under resourced and ineffective judicial system, violence against and sexual abuse of children, violence and discrimination against women and trafficking in persons as other areas of concern.



However, it was the issue of extra-judicial killings that dominated the report on Jamaica.



The US State Department says with violent crimes a serious concern, the Jamaica Constabulary Force has employed lethal force in apprehending criminal suspects.



However, the report says it takes years to bring police officers to trial for alleged unlawful killings, and notes that since 2006 the Jamaican courts have convicted only one police officer of an extrajudicial killing.



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