Categorized | National News

AG Says Swift Justice Working

Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson assured Bahamians that Swift Justice is working and making great strides towards a safer Bahamas.

During her contribution to the 2015/2016 budget debate in the Senate on Wednesday, the attorney general said as matters continue to come before the courts for trial within a reasonable period of time, a clear message will continue to be sent to the public that Swift Justice works.

“Criminals will no longer be able to play the system, thereby reducing crime and citizens will be confident that their justice systems works – thereby reducing fear of crime,” Maynard-Gibson said.

She explained that the effect of the concentrated efforts by the justice system, systemic changes, the opening of 10 courts and the dedication of Swift Justice stakeholders, demonstrates that the courts have the capacity to dispose of matters in a reasonable period of time.

“By way of example, in the past 12 months, a murder was tried in one year and two murders were tried in nine months. Who can remember the last time that a person accused of murder was tried within nine months of charge?” Maynard-Gibson explained.

“Swift Justice is working. There is more work to be done, but clearly we are moving in the right direction.”

She added that the justice system is sending a clear message to criminals that they will be “swiftly caught, swiftly prosecuted and swiftly punished.”

In addition, Maynard-Gibson, who is also the minster of legal affairs, announced that a consultant will be assisting with witness care because there are many witnesses who are uncomfortable with the justice system and face witness intimidation.

“We have launched a ‘Witness Feel the Love’ project, whereby virtual complainants will be advised when an accused person is charged. All witnesses will be advised of the date of the trial immediately after arraignment and sustained contact will be maintained with all witnesses until trial and sentencing,” she said.

“We intend to reinforce to every witness that the criminal justice system requires their involvement and cooperation and we shall stay connected with them so that they feel our love and respect.”

The attorney general announced that it is her intention to bring legislation along the lines of Jamaica so that the written or digital witnesses’ statements of witnesses, who are intimidated, may be admitted into evidence.
“We believe that these measures together with those already implemented will tremendously and positively impact witness security and safety and Swift Justice,” she added.

Maynard-Gibson also noted that too many sexual offences take more than a year to come to trial and the justice system will work on these matters.

“We wish to expedite these matters also and send a clear message that sexual violence will not be tolerated,” she expressed.

The Swift Justice component of the government’s plan for a safer Bahamas is administered by the Office of the Attorney General.

Swift Justice recognizes that justice delayed is justice denied – for victims and accused persons.

According to the attorney general, the government recognizes that crime and fear of crime are likely to decrease when everyone acknowledges that the Swift Justice system works.

She explained that justice is a divine concept and thanked God for blessing the justice system’s efforts to reduce the time for the presentation of a voluntary bill on indictment from 344 days to 50 days and the reality of operating 10 criminal courts at the same time.

“We are creating a safe Bahamas in which victims’ rights are acknowledged and respected,” Maynard-Gibson said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook