Holness: Murder Victims Have Rights Too

PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has assured that the Government intends to pur­sue its pro­pos­al to amend the Bail Act to remand indi­vid­u­als accused of com­mit­ting mur­der.

It is not the inten­tion of the Government to, in any way, dimin­ish human rights,” the prime min­is­ter told the Jamaica Observer in a one-on-one inter­view at Jamaica House on Tuesday. “But the Government has to weigh the bal­ance of human rights on a whole, and the human rights of those per­sons who are being mur­dered by per­sons who get bail and laugh in the face of jus­tice and law enforce­ment, and go out and com­mit more crimes,” Holness added.

The prime min­is­ter said he under­stood the attor­neys’ inter­est in ensur­ing that their clients can get bail, and that bail is part of the legal rights of their clients. However, he sug­gest­ed that the pro­posed mea­sure was nec­es­sary to deal with repeat offend­ers.

The soci­ety has to be prac­ti­cal and rea­son­able and what we have done is to put the issue out there so that the views of the attor­neys who have a per­spec­tive can con­tend with the hun­dreds of Jamaicans who have suf­fered from the crim­i­nal activ­i­ties of repeat offend­ers,” he said.

It is not just one view that should hold pre-emi­nence,” Holness insist­ed.

He indi­cat­ed that Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte would be deal­ing with the issue in Parliament.

I don’t want to pre-empt the attor­ney gen­er­al, but we have giv­en nar­row para­me­ters for how we will seek adjust­ments to the Bail Act, and it will be for those crimes involv­ing mur­ders,” he stat­ed.

Making his pre­sen­ta­tion in the 201617 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on May 24, the prime min­is­ter said the Government would be amend­ing the Bail Act so that peo­ple charged with mur­der will be inel­i­gi­ble for bail in some cir­cum­stances.

He told the House of Representatives that the Government would be tak­ing “bold and deci­sive” steps to sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce crime and vio­lence in the coun­try, par­tic­u­lar­ly against the most vul­ner­a­ble.

Also among the mea­sures he sug­gest­ed was a spe­cial process with­in the court sys­tem for the pros­e­cu­tion and tri­al of mur­ders, which will serve to expe­dite the cas­es.
Story orig­i­nat­ed here : http://​www​.jamaicaob​serv​er​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​H​o​l​n​ess – Murder-vic­tims-have-rights-too_62630