The bedrock of a stable Barbados post Independence has been a reliable justice system. Not perfect but stable. Increasingly in the last decade there has been obvious deterioration to the delivery of justice in Barbados. Many Barbadians though remain ignorant about the level of manipulation affecting the justice system. The government in office has a mantra about building a society and not only an economy. The inaction by the government is inconsistent with building an economy. How is it possible if the justice system can be manipulated by criminal elements?
Again we highlight this blog posted on the 16 October 2010. What is the status of this case anyone!
Originally posted on Barbados Underground:
On Thursday October 14, 2010 Suleman Esuf was granted bail of 1 million dollars with two sureties of $500,000.00 in the Bridgetown Traffic Court. We recall Esuf was charged with having a traffickable quantity of cannabis stated as 2778.38 pounds with a street value of 11 million dollars. It should come as no surprise that Esuf was granted bail. In our system of jurisprudence a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. In a case which does not involve rape or murder and if you have the money for the best lawyers little time is spent on remand. In this case Esuf had a cooling-off at Dodds prison for one month. He returns to court March 8, 2011.
BU continues to be very perturbed at the lawlessness which has become prevalent in our small society. The establishment in Barbados maybe comfortable with Commissioner Darwin Dottin’s statistics but a more…
View original 541 more words
…the greatest value of such recordings to any court system is that they can lead to out-of-court settlements…
In 2011 Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite indicated the roadblocks to allow video recording of interviews between police and accused persons should be removed. Two years later BU is aware those roadblocks have NOT been removed. Recently the question was asked in this forum why with the proliferation of mobile devices equipped to record audio and video such devices are not being utilized in crime fig
hting and its prevention in Barbados.
Section (20) 1 of the Barbados Constitution addresses a person’s right to communicate ideas and information without interference and freedom from interference with his correspondence or other means of communication EXCEPT for the prevention of crime or national security. There is a paucity of legislation in Barbados which addresses how mobile devices can be used in crime fighting. It is instructive to note in larger countries like the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, “evidence” recorded on devices such as computers and mobile phones, whether video or just audio is admissible in a court of law under certain conditions.
Research reveals courts tend to treat videotapes as photographs and hold them to the same verification protocols. The objections to their admission that must be considered by the courts are:
Related Link: Evidence Act 2007
The Late Dana Seetahal
All reports indicate Dana Seetahal was a model citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, an attorney, law lecturer, independent Senator, newspaper columnist are a few achievements which dotted her career. Despite all of her achievements she was murdered on the weekend by people unknown who attached no value to her life. The news of how she died should be worrying to Caribbean citizens for many reasons.
Trinidad like Jamaica are two of the largest islands in the Caribbean and have become known for high crime rates. Although the Caribbean has a reputation as a peace zone in a world perpetually gripped by violence there is no doubt that on the current trajectory this reputation will soon dissipate. Sadly our modern day leaders both political and non governmental lack the capacity to implement economic and social policies which are steeped in a relevant vision and philosophy.
The abject despair revealed by former Chief Justice of Barbados David Simmons when asked to comment about Seetahal’s murder should serve as a wakeup call that there is a vacancy for leadership in the Caribbean. And to those who continue to criticise Barbados Underground for being the purveyor of bad news for the last seven years how do you respond to Sir David Simmons’ comment which agrees with our view?
Submitted by Serenity
“…main drivers which develop a country or regress it is access to education, health and the feeling of security…”
Crime and why we will never be able to reduce the most violent manifestations of it.
In today’s paper NATION page 6a the defence for the recently concluded trial of the aggravated burglary of the Nation Newspaper offices in Fontabelle suggested the men be given a fine and that they are willing to pay back the money. Let’s examine the crime they were found guilty of by a jury. The facts which are no longer in dispute is that they planned the robbery a month in advance down to a change of clothes, used a firearm and threatened the persons present in order to steal.
Should the Court see fit to release these individuals it will set the following precedent for all such cases of aggravated burglary involving the use of a firearm. All former persons sentenced to anything but a fine and all future perpetrators of a similar crime could argue persuasively based on the judgement in this case. Therefore the message we are sending is that it is a trivial thing to enter into any building armed with a gun, threaten the lives of the persons present unless they comply and steal anything in the building.
Photo Credit: Barbados Today
The Fourth Estate plays a critical role to the proper functioning of a democracy, it must. Providing citizens with information which equips them to make the best decisions and at the same time act as a watchdog targeting those who act as gatekeepers of authority and influence in our society. Any attempt to sanitize, filter, manipulate information which it feeds to the public must be rejected as a fourth estate reneging on its obligation. The consequence is a compromised democracy.
In Barbados the media [fourth estate] is heavily self-censored. With the exception of a couple media practitioners there is a lack of respect for the profession by the decisionmakers and general public. It is fair to suggest that media workers demonstrate a lack of respect for themselves if we are to judge their inability to promote a vibrant union or association. The Barbados Association of Journalists (BAJ) does not even have an official website or Facebook presence in 2013 such is the inadequacy of how media workers see themselves.
Related Link: Statement issued by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ag) Crime, Lionel M. Thompson
Barbados is becoming like a war zone, with reports of shootings almost everyday by reckless and underemployed young men (they are almost always men). It is now taking on the characteristics of West Kingston in the mid-1970s when a surplus of arms fuelled the resentment of gangsters affiliated to the two dominant political parties. This aspect of Caribbean shootings has not yet raised its ugly head in Barbados, nor has the savagery of the murderous gangsters in Trinidad, although the choke and rob muggers of Guyana has been adopted by some Barbadian youths. In all this, the apparatus of law and order seems helpless, apart from a demand to better arm the policy and the unopposed willingness to put the Defence force on the streets and parading some of the West Coast beaches. It is a development that will eventually end in tears.
Crime and punishment is one of those subjects that have been raising people’s blood pressure since Adam and Eve. From the church to every man and woman at the street corner, we all have explanations for the break down in law and order. Those opposed to the drift in to a more repressive society (see: Stuart Hall: Drifting in to a Law and Order Society) are frequently forced to ask: whose law, what order. However, crime causation is the issue that pre-occupies most criminologists and criminal justice workers.