As a new year begins to take shape the very same issues which dominated the news last year largely remain unsolved still.
And true to form in my native Jamaica the big fish are all jockeying to get their names in the local newspapers to continue their relevance as big fish in a tiny ticky-ticky pool.
Now there is a raft of issues on the front burner, not the least of which is the Opposition leader, Peter Phillips grandstanding about not being able to meet with the country’s Prime minister until January 7th to discuss his party’s disquiet with the continuation of the states of emergencies(SOE), and then quietly meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the issue.
As I wrote yesterday Peter Phillips seems to think that he is the Prime Minister based on the way he has been behaving in exerting leverage he clearly does not have.
Now it appears someone told him “take the damn meeting” and so he did.
THE RULE OF LAW
Then there are other issues of import in the country, like the rule of law.
This brings into focus the regular pigs who eat constantly at the slop trough of deception and lies.
Speaking to local media one such pig, well known criminal lawyer Bert Samuels opined:
That lawmakers enact special sanctions for law-enforcement personnel proven to have “planted” evidence on an accused person to secure a conviction. For Bert Samuels, the maximum penalty for such action should be twice the sentence prescribed for the criminal charge against the accused person.
As a further deterrent, Samuels wants law-enforcement personnel found to have planted evidence to secure a conviction to share the financial burden where their actions result in a successful lawsuit against the State.
“In any successful civil suit arising from an acquittal where evidence was planted, the officer should be compelled to pay one-half of the damages awarded,” he suggested in a letter to The Gleaner.
Here’s the thing, in principle I do not disagree with anything that Bert Samuels said in his statements.
As a staunch supporter of the rule of law, I categorically support these ideas without equivocation.
We cannot have a democratic society if our laws are not applied fairly across the board.
What I take issue with is the messenger Bert Samuels.
Bert Samuels is a product of the ghetto.
He is from the other side of the Cassava Piece gully which is Glen Drive in Kingston 8.
Bert Samuels has represented criminals from all spectrums of the society as is his right and duty.
What I never heard, is Bert Samuels speaking out on the wanton bloodshed that those he has represented have visited on our country.
The fact that one is a criminal defense lawyer does not strip one of his responsibility to be a good citizen.
Criminal defense lawyers, are officers of the courts. They have a moral responsibility to speak out against criminal conduct.
The fact that one defends criminals should not preclude one from speaking out against crime and criminals.
Yet on these moral perspectives Bert Samuels, the well-known defense lawyer has been eerily silent.
When it comes to doing the right thing Bert Samuels is unable to walk and chew gum at the same time and that renders his opinions inconsequential.
Three officers who were on trial in the case dubbed the death squad trial” (by the dirty media houses) were freed yesterday without having to defend themselves against the charges of murder leveled against them by INDECOM.
Detective Corporal Kevin Adams, District Constable Howard Brown, and Constable Carl Bucknor had the case against them tossed for want of prosecution by the judge.
The officers were charged with the murder of Andrew Bisson who was killed on September 5, 2011, during a police operation.
Why do I even bother to mention this?
An acquittal means you face trial and is found not guilty.
In this case, the judge moved to end the trial because the prosecution could not meet its own prosecutorial threshold.
Why is this important?
This is important because, in the very same case, former cop Chucky Brown implicated himself to INDECOM investigators who were hell-bent on criminalizing the death of Bisson and these officers were going to be made to pay one way or the other.
Brown was led astray by INDECOM, not only was Brown not offered immunity to lie to convict his colleagues, he will most likely be spending the greater part of the remainder of his life in prison.
And for what?
To satisfy the blood-lust of Terrence Williams and Hamish Campbell.
I hope these officers get to the business of suing the Government for every penny to which they are entitled.