Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson said her greatest challenge is to convince Bahamians that the justice system actually works.
The AG’s comments came yesterday at the Harry Seymour Library, College of The Bahamas, while fielding questions from students of the Eugene Dupuch Law School, which marked the start of its legal education year.
“The idea that we can get rid of the times when a murder can be tried for 10 years, a rape might be tried for six to 10 years,” she said.
“We want to take away avoidable deficiencies, like witnesses not showing up or evidence not or evidence not being present. We think it’s obvious that we speak to the persons who are responsible, but we were not doing that so now we sit down together as a team and do that,”
Some Bahamians are of the opinion that capital punishment is the solution to the country’s crime woes.
Legal education week is hosted by the Law School’s Student Association and includes educational, community and social activities.
“It’s on our books. We are obliged to enforce our laws and in arenas where we have to defend our human rights record. I’ve pointed out to every country that has attacked The Bahamas, that they themselves have capital punishment on their books for heinous offences. For example, for many states in the United States for act of terrorism they don’t hesitate,” said Mrs. Maynard Gibson.
“They make it very clear that capital punishment is on the books.”
Last week, Dr. Rollins remarked that there are “junior members of the Bar” who would not have made the mistakes Mrs. Maynard-Gibson did that caused the government to “be left with its pants hanging”.
Dr. Rollins further commented that the Mrs. Maynard Gibson practices “sloppy justice” which in the past has caused numerous accused members of society to have serious dropped and dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
However, the attorney general suggested that because Dr. Rollins is eager to mock her, and her official office, he has overlooked the “successes through the Swift Justice initiative.”
“Since 2012, conviction rates have doubled .In 2015, we disposed of 110 more cases than at the start of my tenure as attorney general, and seven murder cases went from charge to conviction in a year. The reality is that through the work of the Swift Justice initiative we are tirelessly moving toward a more effective and efficient justice system,” said the attorney general.
The theme of Eugene Dupuch’s Law School legal education week is “Extending the Legacy of Honour, Integrity, Scholarship, Service, Excellence and Advocacy.”