Categorized | National News

Jurors May Be Eradicated

Minister of State for Legal Affair, Ellsworth Johnson says that the government may be looking to move The Bahamas to a point where jurors may not be needed.

Stressing that it is only something that they may be considering, Mr. Johnson made these remarks, with no shortage of feedback about the addresses of potential jurors being publicized on social media.

“I know one of the things that the Attorney General has discussed in the past, with Mr. Justice Hall and a number of other jurors, is whether or not The Bahamas will move, where in certain matters we don’t have the need to use juries as it occurs in South Africa, and that may be something that may be considered.
“I am not saying that it is being considered, that may be considered,” Mr. Johnson said.
Speaking with reporters yesterday, Mr. Johnson also said that the decision to publish the jury list is nothing new, while acknowledging the fears of many Bahamians.

“Crime is a very serious matter, and no doubt my government takes it very seriously.

“The information that has been disclosed is no different from what is being disclosed from over the years.
“I know that there is an issue of witness security and that may also may include persons who sit on the jury, and we take that very seriously. But it’s no different from the information you would find in the Voters Registry.
“Sometimes you would post names in the newspaper, it’s just simply it’s now by way of social media,” he said.

Amidst the outcry from many Bahamians regarding the recent publication of the 2018 jury list with the addresses of those selected for jury duty, Mr. Johnson said that it is important however, for all Bahamians to play their role in progressing the country.

“When matters are heard, they are heard publicly, anybody can sit in the gallery and view the persons that are sitting on those matters.

“One of the things we have to do as we progress to build this country, we have to play our roles.

“I have left private practice and I’ve come into public service and I’ve decided that I’m going to stand for my country and do what’s necessary.

“But I do understand the concerns that are expressed by members of the public, but it’s no different, it’s just a different way or medium of disclosing that information,” Mr. Johnson said.

Former Attorney General, Allyson Maynard-Gibson too said that the “effective ways to combat crime is for potential criminals to know that justice in The Bahamas is swift and sure.

She suggested that the Attorney-General and the Supreme Court educate Bahamians about the precious court time that is wasted, because of delays caused by of the inability to empanel a jury as well as to educate Bahamians about their role in combating crime, by serving on juries, so that trials can take place in a timely manner.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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