Bench/​Bar And Other Parts Of The Justice System Equally As Filthy Corrupt As Police High Command

The crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem is a com­plex web of dif­fer­ent agen­cies which ought to work cohe­sive­ly togeth­er for the fair and time­ly dis­pen­sa­tion of jus­tice in order that a demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety may have a chance to sur­vive.
At the tip of the spear is the police who are the very first judge of events, they are giv­en wide lat­i­tude to de-esca­late and even ignore some minor infrac­tions gen­er­al­ly by issu­ing a warn­ing. That lat­i­tude does not include dis­cre­tion to ignore or for­give seri­ous crimes.

Then there are the pros­e­cu­tors and defense lawyers, judges, court stenog­ra­phers and oth­ers who make the court sys­tem work, then there are oth­ers who work on social reports which ought to allow the court the abil­i­ty to arrive at just and cor­rect sen­tenc­ing . Prison offi­cers who work to ensure that those who are incar­cer­at­ed are looked after and the list goes on and on.

Nevertheless, despite the pha­lanx of dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sion­als who make the jus­tice sys­tem churn along there is a gen­er­al atti­tude in our coun­try which seem to believe that if the police depart­ment is fixed and all of a sud­den becomes the best it can be the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem will begin to oper­ate as a well-oiled machine.

This is the fur­thest thing from real­i­ty, the fact of the mat­ter is that the Prison sys­tem, the local bar, and the bench are all just as bro­ken as the police force. The Government is embark­ing on a process of reform­ing the JCF and frankly, that can­not hap­pen soon enough. Even if the JCF is renamed rebrand­ed and retro­fit­ted to be the best it can be, the fair and equi­table dis­pen­sa­tion of jus­tice will only be a dis­tant dream with the oth­er bro­ken parts of the jus­tice deliv­ery sys­tem still in sham­bles.

National Security Minister Horace Chang said reform of the JCF will not only entail tech­no­log­i­cal improve­ments or a sim­ple name change but will be about estab­lish­ing a robust account­abil­i­ty frame­work, enhanced capac­i­ty build­ing, cul­ture change and improve­ment in the stan­dards of ser­vice deliv­ery. “We are far advanced with the draft­ing of the leg­is­la­tion to gov­ern the new police ser­vice as well as an effec­tive over­sight mech­a­nism for polic­ing func­tions. The leg­is­la­tion is sched­uled for tabling in Parliament this leg­isla­tive year.

The pri­vate bar is equal­ly as bro­ken, every year there are nev­er-end­ing tales of inno­cent Jamaicans being fleeced out of their hard-earned resources by lawyers. Generally, these lawyers who know how to manip­u­late their way around the law are hard­ly ever held account­able.
On the rare occa­sion that they are arrest­ed, they are giv­en spe­cial treat­ment by the courts.

Take the case of 68-year-old Attorney at law Jennifer Messado, In one instance, she is accused of defraud­ing Jamaican enter­tain­er Mavado of $30.7 mil­lion while in the oth­er she is accused of swin­dling $28.6 mil­lion from St Andrew busi­ness­man Norman Horne and his sis­ter Charlotte.

Horne, who is exec­u­tive direc­tor of ARC Properties, and his sis­ter were alleged­ly defraud­ed of $28.6 mil­lion which was report­ed­ly paid over to Messado for a prop­er­ty locat­ed on Argyle Road in St Andrew, and owned by the Sports Development Foundation.
The court heard that Messado told the com­plainants that she was retained by the foun­da­tion to con­duct the sale. However, it was lat­er dis­cov­ered that the com­pa­ny had not retained Messado and that the prop­er­ty was not for sale.
Messado, who was out on a $800,000-bail, was rear­rest­ed on Tuesday after two sep­a­rate reports of fraud were lodged against her in rela­tion to fraud­u­lent land trans­ac­tions.

Courts are gen­er­al­ly inclined to rearrange or rescind bail when offend­ers re-offend while on bail. Not so in Jamaica, this attor­ney was once again allowed out on bail even though the peo­ple argued that Messado is a flight risk. She was allowed out with the con­di­tion of report­ing dai­ly to the police and sur­ren­der­ing her trav­el doc­u­ments.
That ought to take care of every­thing, after all, no crim­i­nal has ever fled Jamaica after their trav­el doc­u­ments have been confiscated.[sic]

Then there is the case of Andrew Brown who in 2016 mowed down a police inspec­tor, who was car­ry­ing out duties in the parish of Trelawny,
Inspector Gibbs who was in charge of the Clark’s Town Police and was a 30-year vet­er­an of the JCF was con­duct­ing traf­fic checks when he sig­naled Andrew Brown who was dri­ving a motor­car to stop.
Brown refused, gunned the engine instead and mowed down and killed the police offi­cer and kept going. After learn­ing that he was want­ed by the police, Brown turned him­self in the fol­low­ing day.
Brown even­tu­al­ly plead­ed guilty and the court imposed a sen­tence of .….. 16 months in prison!

This is the most shock­ing and egre­gious exam­ple of judi­cial mis­con­duct I have ever seen in all my life work­ing in law enforce­ment and now as an out­sider look­ing in.
This ver­dict is an unmit­i­gat­ed slap in the face of the JCF and the fam­i­lies of police offi­cers all across the coun­try. Despite the shock­ing dis­re­spect the ver­dict rep­re­sents it is even worse when it is con­sid­ered against the chill­ing mes­sage it sends to police that not only are their lives worth­less to crim­i­nals they have no val­ue in the courts either.

The elit­ist talk­ing heads can talk all they want but Jamaica is under­stood to be a haven for crim­i­nals and a mag­net for all who want to embark on a life of crime. Simply put many on the bench are pre­cious lit­tle more than crim­i­nals them­selves.
So let’s stop with the pre­tense about fix­ing the police force, the bench the bar and all oth­er agen­cies of the dis­pen­sa­tion of jus­tice are just as filthy as the hier­ar­chy of the JCF, imag­ine that.