The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Demonstrably Valid?

Jeff Cumberbatch – Columnist, Deputy Dean of UWI, Law Faculty, Chairman of the FTC

There will be time enough, I suppose, for more scholarly reflection on the implications of the decision earlier this week of the Caribbean Court of Justice on an appeal from Barbados where the ruling was that it is not permissible for a person charged with an offence to be convicted of that offence in circumstances where the only evidence against him is an unsigned and otherwise unacknowledged and uncorroborated confession which the prosecution allege was made to investigating police officers whilst in police custody but which he denies making.

According to the judgment, something more is required either in the way of independent verification that the admission was actually and voluntarily made, or in the way of other evidence that independently corroborates or otherwise points to the guilt of the accused. It is notorious that many criminal convictions in Barbados are based solely on these slender pieces of evidence, even though the existing legislation clearly contemplates that the voluntariness of confessions should be corroborated by stipulated technology.

Indeed, the failure to provide the necessary machinery for this circumstance, even though it was expressly commented on by MPs during debate on the measure, was the subject of trenchant criticism by Mr Justice Saunders who bewailed the delay in its implementation after two decades-

Having enacted what at the time was modern, progressive legislation, a decision was made to suspend the critical sections of the Act that required sound-recording. The ostensible reason was that Barbados lacked the material resources to equip its police stations with the necessary recording devices. Over 20 years later, these sections of the Act remain suspended.”

This deficit in legislative implementation is not new. I have heard it said on more occasions than one that section 26 of our Constitution that serves to render pre-1966 legislation immune from Constitutional challenge on the basis of its contravention of any of the fundamental rights provisions was intended to be a mere holding provision until there could be an official determination of those pieces of legislation that were so implicated. Yet we recently celebrated our 50th anniversary of state sovereignty with that provision still firmly entrenched in place.

Whatever the scholarly commentary on the decision might be ultimately, at least one side the populist view has seemingly been already expressed in rather stentorian fashion, if there is any validity to press reports that the disturbance by gunfire in a certain suburban district one night this week might have been effectuated precisely for the purpose of approval of the consequences of the decision.

Of course, as in these matters, the populist reaction is not unanimous and, understandably, there are those who will view the decision as a backward step in an era where there is a prevalence of unlicensed firearms in the hands of aimless youths and while the unprovoked murder of a citizen going about her lawful business is still fresh in the civic mind. For some, therefore, the decision will be perceived more as a gratuitous sop to the criminal element and as a yet another hurdle in the way of the strict enforcement of the criminal law by the authorities.

Indeed, the recent calls by some members of the public for the official resumption of the execution of the death penalty, despite the clear unlikelihood of this ever again becoming an actuality under our current jurisprudence, demonstrates the degree of personal insecurity felt by the citizenry at this time.

Culpability for the current state of affairs identified in the CCJ decision must lie with those respective governing administrations that have remained content over the years to countenance the status quo of the validity of the confession remaining purely a question of fact; one whereby most juries would be disposed to believe the word of the investigating police officer over that of the accused prisoner as to the voluntariness of the confession and therefore to find the latter guilty as charged.

This blot on our criminal justice system would have inured to the benefit neither of the police officers who would have been subjected to populist suspicions of unconstitutional coercion as alleged by many accused persons nor to the fairness of the process itself whereby better and more cogent provision could have been made for determining the truth.

The political insult

The recently reported observation of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur in response to a critical comment from Sir Richard Cheltenham, a former BLP Cabinet colleague, that the latter’s words were akin to being “savaged by a sheep”, an expression that Mr Arthur has been reported as using with reference to a Freundel Stuart comment on a previous occasion in 2012, calls to mind, in particular, the similar, though even more trenchant, remark of the former British Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer in Dennis Healey, that being attacked by his Conservative counterpart, Geoffrey Howe, was “like being savaged by a dead sheep” and, in general, the witty nature of the political insult.

Sir Winston Churchill, no less sharp of tongue, once described Clement Atlee as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing”, and Healey himself once said of John Prescott that he had the face of a man who clubs baby seals” and of quondam Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, that his diet made him look like “death warmed up” Sometimes Healey was on the receiving end. The comedian Bob Monkhouse, on being informed by a headline that Healey had been caught with his pants down is reported to have averred, “That’s a pity. It will make it easier to hear what he is saying!”

Sharpness of political wit is not restricted to the British though. The Americans have been equally piquant in their ripostes. The gifted Mark Twain once wrote, “Reader, suppose you are an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” And one former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture was heard to declaim that if ignorance ever went to forty dollars a barrel, he wanted the drilling rights to the head of George Bush, the elder.

Some of our leaders over the years might also have found common ground with President Lyndon B Johnson who once claimed “being President was like a jackass in a hailstorm. There is nothing to do but to stand there and take it.”

The last word belongs to Healey. Dame Margaret Thatcher might have had many fans during her prime ministerial tenure. Not Healey, though. He is said to have described Thatcher and her Cabinet as “A raving hag surrounded by ministers fighting each other like weasels in a sack”.

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47 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Demonstrably Valid?”

  1. David July 30, 2017 at 6:49 AM #

    Jeff are we in danger of having similar cases challenged?

    Like

  2. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 7:48 AM #

    This is a debate that we should long have had, pity that it took the CCJ to point out the flaws in our prosecutorial philosophy. Where is the defence lawyers’ group in all this? It is basic criminology that someone pleading guilty, or forensic evidence alone, are not enough to convict.
    Let us discuss these issues. Jeff should be made a QC. Why is it in other common law jurisdictions academic lawyers are made QCs but not in Barbados?

    Like

  3. David July 30, 2017 at 7:52 AM #

    Hal

    What is your basis to support your assertion “it took the CCJ to point out the flaws in our prosecutorial philosophy”?

    On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 11:48 AM, Barbados Underground wrote:

    >

    Like

  4. Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 8:08 AM #

    Implementation deficit disorder…..nothing else….not lack of money…..lack of will pure and simple.

    Substantiated by the $50M odd sent back to the IADB for the Orleans rehab project due being afraid of residents.

    Or….could it be more sinister than that…….no research consultant required?

    Like

  5. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 8:20 AM #

    David,
    The CCJ has rejected a case from Barbados on the basis of insufficient evidence for prosecution – after the accused had spent five years on remand. Is this enough of a flaw in prosecutorial policy, or is the CCJ wrong?
    Or, how about an accused spending ten years in jail on remand only for the DPP’s office to drop the case, yet fight the Bds$3m claim from the victim of this injustice? Is this enough?
    @David, I am not sure if you are playing Devil’s advocate or are just thick?

    Like

  6. David July 30, 2017 at 8:30 AM #

    And Hal you are of the view that until these event occurred at the CCJ there was no local comment/concern on the same?

    Like

  7. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 8:33 AM #

    David,
    Has there been a national debate about the criminal justice system. If so,I am sorry, plse direct me to that debate.

    Like

  8. Pachamama July 30, 2017 at 9:18 AM #

    We were never convinced that what happens in law courts were searches for truth.

    For us they have always been about resources. Who had them, and had none.

    It seems to us those without resourses end up in jail or spend decades without.

    Before independence this law system was well aware of the its true nature. Judges have known for decades that 90 percent of convictions were based on coerced statements yet it made sentences.

    Like

  9. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger July 30, 2017 at 10:42 AM #

    Jeff……my son-in-law brought me a huge bottle of Wray & Nephew Rum Creme from Jamaica….

    ….I am just waiting for lunch hour, will tell you all about it…lol

    Like

  10. Sargeant July 30, 2017 at 10:56 AM #

    @Jeff
    It is notorious that many criminal convictions in Barbados are based solely on these slender pieces of evidence, even though the existing legislation clearly contemplates that the voluntariness of confessions should be corroborated by stipulated technology.
    +++++++++++
    So why have the authorities dragged their feet in installing video cameras in the interrogation rooms to buttress these “confessions”? Are they afraid that the interrogation methods would be seen more like gestapo tactics.

    Like

  11. David July 30, 2017 at 11:01 AM #

    The reasons given a few years ago was that many of the police stations were not in a fit physical state to support the technology although it cant be said for District A and F, two of the newer Districts. The AG and CJ have a lot t answer as to the state of justice in Barbados. We like to pussyfoot on the issues even where there is obvious incompetence.

    Like

  12. Sargeant July 30, 2017 at 11:09 AM #

    I am sure that some people are convicted on what the Americans call “Fruit of the poisonous Tree” i.e. evidence that is obtained illegally. Just waiting for some clever lawyer to use that defense to spring one of his/her clients.

    Welcome to the 2000’s

    Like

  13. de pedantic Dribbler July 30, 2017 at 12:23 PM #

    @Jeff, I must say thanks for the education on the admission of unsigned confession ….in so many other jurisdictions that has been disposed to the advantage of the accused so I was not aware that it was still the case in Bdos.

    In the context of Bushie’s retorts to you and colleagues at UWI and Hal above I would also ask how has this state of affairs existed so long in the face of persons on the Hill like yourself…didn’t you law scholars harp incessantly on this in papers, letters to the AG’s office and other agitation???

    Seems to me that this was a gross error allowed to perpetuate too long. Thus I am perplexed why you opine that ” there are those who will view the decision as a backward step in an era where there is a prevalence of unlicensed firearms in the hands of aimless youths …”

    Why does unsigned or non-videotaped voluntary confessions hamper or is in any way “another hurdle in the way of the strict enforcement of the criminal law”. HOW!

    People are caught on tape committing crimes and lawyers will lodge a claim of ‘not guilty’, yet the system will fall on ts own weight because a possibly coerced confession is inadmissible to prove guilt. Really!

    @David, some lies are plausible and some are so down right absurd that the term ‘Liar, Liar. Pants on Fire’ is most apt.

    As you know, technology for over 20+ years now has been so ‘simplistic’ , inexpensive and powerful that erecting a camera and software linked back to a PC in one of the rooms in any police station and surely at those of a few key locations would have been a facile exercise.

    This has not been done because the police wanted to conduct activities that no camera should record.

    These repeated slap downs of the Bajan legal system should be a major embarrassment of the crass and seeming propriety of our legal community.

    Unfortunately from top to bottom they appear ineffectual and as you said “the AG and CJ [UWI and lawyers] have a lot to answer as to the state of justice in Barbados…[and their] obvious incompetence.”

    Like

  14. Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 1:08 PM #

    Belleplaine is a study by itself….the only town in the Scotland District…..Tourism heartland.

    ….Police Station shut down

    ….Magistrate Court…..Post Office…..Childrens Home…..Geriatric home…..Polyclinic……Doctors Office……..ditto

    Home of Mrs Rock,leading female entrepreneur and MP of the area…….derelict.

    Interesting to Note……this area has always voted for the DLP.

    Like

  15. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 1:42 PM #

    Vincent,
    Belleplaine is one example of the failure of post-independence policy-making. I have long called for three three new towns: Six roads, four roads and Belleplaine.
    Government departments would be moved to each, along with new leisure centres (cinemas, basket/netball courts, swimming pools, restaurants, etc), businesses would be incentivised to open branches in these towns. One pay off would be a reversal in the rush hour flow of traffic. Move the Transport Board to Four Roads and develop Weymouth in to a urban hub.
    These are some of the infrastructural ideas that have been put to the DLP since 2008, instead Sinckler wanted to introduce ETFs. Crazy. Some idiot also wanted him to introduce bitcoins.

    Like

  16. Jeff Cumberbatch July 30, 2017 at 3:07 PM #

    I am sure that some people are convicted on what the Americans call “Fruit of the poisonous Tree” i.e. evidence that is obtained illegally. Just waiting for some clever lawyer to use that defense to spring one of his/her clients.

    @ Sarge, the defence of “fruit of the poisoned tree” has already been tried in the region. Our courts are of the view that once evidence is of probative value, then it is admissible no matter how it was obtained. This rule does not apply to confessions however, but the validity of these is usually a matter for the jury.

    Like

  17. Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 3:10 PM #

    Hal

    Belleplaine was a town in its own right with all of what I mentioned,I forgot the leisure center which is also derelict and falling apart…..a write up in Fridays Nation mentioned it.

    This city was allowed to fall from the days of the previous govt.

    What is baffling is that the Scotland District is supposed to be our tourism heartland 1/7th of Bim…..no infrastructure for community tourism as mentioned as well as the fact that all the roads leading to and from are in a very bad state disrepair.

    Note one of the foremost Tourism representatives for Bim is the wannabe MP for the area….twice failed.

    Like

  18. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 3:13 PM #

    A town is not a city. But the DLP shower has no idea of infrastructural development. Look at Broad Street, particularly after 5pm, our main thoroughfare.

    Like

  19. Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 3:21 PM #

    Both party’s made a song and dance of making the area a National park with many covenants…….nothing ever done other than the designation.

    If this country was serious about employment and moving the country forward.

    …no where better to start than the rehabilitation of Belleplane and the Scotland District.

    ….loads of work and investment opportunities.

    ……Note govt already owns the majority of the Plantations and lands of the area.

    Like

  20. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 3:25 PM #

    Juries determine facts, judges the law. A jury would not know if evidence is obtained illegally; nor would they know if the police, trained witnesses, are lying in the dock. That is why we have the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, which by the way, a Barbadian wrote the Scotland Yard response to.
    A few years ago the Scotland Yard area commander told me of having a senior Bajan police officer on a drug raid in Stonebridge, as the suspects were being processed, this idiot was jumping like a frog screaming that is not how we deal with suspects in Barbados. Eventually the area commander shouted: you are not in fucking Barbados now. Keep quiet.

    Like

  21. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 3:26 PM #

    David,
    What is this ‘moderation’ my comment is awaiting?

    Like

  22. Hal Austin July 30, 2017 at 3:32 PM #

    Is that comment worthy of moderation when we have some of the most abuse commenters in this forum? Or is that a way to shut me up? Or you just object to certain ideas?

    Like

  23. David July 30, 2017 at 3:33 PM #

    Any feedback on Walter’s show on CBC? The BU household has not been able to find the time. It appears that Walter has turned his back on the BU community that supported him.

    Like

  24. Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 3:41 PM #

    David

    Chyckle………You have ask the Dem operatives on this site as the more intelligent on here will listen to Brasstacks.

    Like

  25. David July 30, 2017 at 3:43 PM #

    The Walter 2 show is on Sunday not so? Do they have recordings?

    Like

  26. Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 3:48 PM #

    David

    My intelligence will not allow me to listen to crap.

    Like

  27. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger July 30, 2017 at 4:22 PM #

    Jeeze Hal….you sure can whine. .

    Do you think you are the only one gets moderated….or whose posts are removed.

    Mature people don’t whine, they move on to the next comment or topic.

    Hint, hint.

    Like

  28. Sargeant July 30, 2017 at 5:16 PM #

    @Jeff
    Thanks for updating me re “Fruits etc.”

    @David
    If Walter B turned his back on BU perhaps it was because he faced of unrelenting criticism anytime he voiced an opinion. However, I don’t think he has gone away he is just keeping his powder dry and picking his battles.

    Like

  29. Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 5:25 PM #

    28 July at 15:10
    Abandoned in St Andrew
    In response to numerous calls and complaints, the WEEKEND NATION has brought this series looking at abandoned Government buildings that are eyesores and health hazards….
    nationnews.com
    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/99087/abandoned-st-andrew

    Like

  30. David July 30, 2017 at 5:36 PM #

    @Sargeant

    Walter gave as good as he received on BU. He had already received a reputation of having balls in the community. Maybe he snapped or his DLP friends made him an offer he could not refuse. Looks like Caswell is the only grower of balls left standing in BU.

    Here is one of his last comments posted to one of the NIS blogs.

    Hal Austin March 31, 2017 at 11:53 AM #

    David,

    I know it is fashionable to blame individuals, but should we not be blaming the minister, who is ultimately accountable; the chairman of the NIS, Justin Robinson, and members of the investment committee; and the person(s) who carried out the due diligence?

    In any case, this is not an investment, but a loan. Is the NIS authorised to make commercial loans to private businesses without the approval of parliament?

    David March 31, 2017 at 3:29 PM #

    @Walter

    Know this is a busy time for you but an opinion on this matter given your expertise would be valued.

    David,

    I don’t believe that the governance structure of the NIS has undergone any radical change in its 50-year existence, so I will state these pointers from memory, as a means of steering the discussion in the right direction:

    The NIS Board is a corporate entity with a corporate seal. It can transact business in its own right.

    The National Insurance FUND was established under the control and management of the NIS Board. However, when it comes to the fund, there are two instances where the practical power of the Board either intermingles with, or is superseded by ministerial power.

    One, the Board with the approval of the Minister responsible for Social Security, may write off sums of money from the fund as losses.

    Two, any monies belonging to the fund may be invested by the Board in whatever manner, and in whatever securities, that the Minister responsible for Finance may direct.

    The Minister responsible for Social Security, and the Minister responsible for Finance are two political positions which, by nature, tend to put political considerations first. For example, in the realm of extreme probability, whilst a directed NIS investment decision can end up in hundreds of millions of dollars forever being lost, it may provide invaluable political benefits. Additionally, hundreds of millions of dollars can be written off as losses to the fund, in instances where borrowers have the capacity to repay. Such decisions might prove to be injurious to the fund, but may be calculated to provide excellent political payoffs.

    The governance structure does not subject these extreme positions to any “prudent man” rule at the transactional level, so any “blaming” would have to manifest itself in political terms at election time. Of course, this depends on how vigilant or sensitive the electorate is to the management of NIS funds.

    In the 2013 general election, our current Minister responsible for Finance, the Hon. Chris Sinckler, would have been subjected to a great amount of “blame” for the millions of NIS funds which were considered to be wasted on ill-fated projects. The electorate held him to be “blameless” and returned him to parliament. It is highly likely that the electorate will return him to parliament when the next general election comes around.

    Our current Minister responsible for Social Security, the Hon. Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, is seeking to avenge the political defeat she suffered in 2013. With respect to the NIS fund and any associated problems, her political opponents will be expected to highlight instances, if any, where she injudiciously approved the writing off of monies, owed to the NIS fund, as losses. If they cannot do this, then she must be viewed by the electorate as totally and completely blameless when it comes to any mismanagement of NIS funds.

    I tried to keep this comment short and simple whilst simultaneously tackling Hal’s questions. I have also deliberately left some dots to be connected by the more thoughtful and discerning BU readers and bloggers.

    Like

  31. David July 30, 2017 at 6:00 PM #

    @Hal

    You comment contained an obscene word and it was filtered. You need to chill.

    Like

  32. Crusoe July 30, 2017 at 8:15 PM #

    Vincent Haynes July 30, 2017 at 8:08 AM #
    Implementation deficit disorder…..

    That is an issue here, you are right. As to Jeff’s article, well written, humorous. Thank you Sir.

    On the decision of the CCJ, indeed I am surprised that an unsigned confession, with no corroborating evidence, could have been the sole basis for the original decision.

    I will have to take time to read the CCJ decision to obtain a fuller understanding of what took place.

    On the face of it, if such was the case, unsatisfactory.

    That said, I am of the impression that the Courts have been struggling for resources for years.

    Lip service by successive governments.

    Thing is, the police service and courts are / should be self sustaining, re fines etc paid for traffic and other cases.

    However, as everyone knows, most funds go to the wonderful ‘consolidated fund’, that obtuse hole and money sucker.

    If such is the case, it would explain why the Courts and justice system are underfunded and lacking resources.

    Like

  33. Sargeant July 30, 2017 at 8:33 PM #

    @Jeff
    @ Sarge, the defence of “fruit of the poisoned tree” has already been tried in the region. Our courts are of the view that once evidence is of probative value, then it is admissible no matter how it was obtained.
    ++++++++++
    For clarification are those courts local or has a similar case been brought to CCJ? I just did a bit of research and saw where the SC of Canada had ruled that evidence collected illegally infringes on one’s charter rights. Jurists are always seeking precedent and since Canada is a “Commonwealth” jurisdiction could one expect a similar result?

    https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/1997/1997canlii384/1997canlii384.html

    Like

  34. Sargeant July 30, 2017 at 8:46 PM #

    Then there is this which includes the following:

    “The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court reflects the most recent development under international law. The accompanying document, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, was adopted by consensus and entered into force in 2002. This document represents the views of States from every region and principle legal systems of the world. Article 69 of the Rome Statute provides that the Court may rule on the relevance or admissibility of any evidence, taking into account the probative value of the evidence and any prejudice that such evidence may cause to a fair trial or to a fair evaluation of the testimony of a witness.9 It further provides that evidence obtained by means of a violation of the Rome Statute or internationally recognizes human rights shall not be admissible if the violation casts “substantial doubt on the reliability of the evidence or the admission of the evidence would be antiethical to and would seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings”.10 It is the International Criminal Court that will determine admissibility and relevance and when doing so will not be bound by the national laws of the State where the evidence is collected.”

    http://icclr.law.ubc.ca/files/publications/pdfs/ES%2520paper%2520-%2520exclusionary%2520evidence%2520rule.pdf

    Like

  35. Hants July 30, 2017 at 9:52 PM #

    Interesting example of how a person can be guided to self incriminate.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/death-on-the-hudson-2/

    Like

  36. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger July 31, 2017 at 3:09 AM #

    The accuseds Charter rights are obviously NOT recognized in Barbados……

    ……unless a successful case/lawsuit is brought against government for enabling and condoning police and the office of the DPP in violating the Charter Rights of citizens…they will continue.

    That is what happens when lazy attorneys general have refused over the last 30 years to reform procedures by making amendments to the Constitution and modernize the whole process.

    Like

  37. Bush Tea July 31, 2017 at 6:53 AM #

    The courts in Barbados are just simply embarrassing.
    Jeff should be ashamed to be associated with the certification of most of the miscreants….

    This article should REALLY be an apology to Barbadians.

    Like

  38. Pachamama July 31, 2017 at 7:57 AM #

    Who should apologise to whom when the country itself is misconceived, bushie

    Like

  39. Gabriel July 31, 2017 at 6:33 PM #

    Dribbler made the elementary point that a room suitably furnished can be constructed or otherwise made adaptable at a suitable centrally located Police Facility to satisfy the electronic taping and tagging of evidence.The criminal element in Barbados is small if one excludes those ‘sent up’ for ganja offences.Serious offenders can be centrally processed and the “Main Guard” is the place.Disturbing religious service at James St. should be a thing of the past.Police brutality should be rooted out of the system in this the Age of Enlightenment.

    Like

  40. Gabriel July 31, 2017 at 6:40 PM #

    Glowing tributes,no doubt deserved,left the Cathedral along with the mortal remains of a former stalwart attorney.The CCJ would most likely see less of those cases they ruled upon recently.Those of us interested in justice would hope that a fearless and competent attorney would take control of the prosecutorial function of the judicial system but dare we hope?

    Like

  41. David July 31, 2017 at 6:43 PM #

    Who will be responsible to appoint that person Gabriel? Is it AG Brathwaite to recommend and PM Stuart to approve? We rest!

    Like

  42. Bush Tea July 31, 2017 at 8:44 PM #

    @ Pacha
    Who should apologise to whom when the country itself is misconceived, bushie
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The country is NOT ‘misconceived’, Pacha. It is perfectly conceived …and everything is going EXACTLY as planned.

    Your confusion stems from your inability to rationalise that plan …a plan which is spiritual in nature and which requires a bit more than the 5 natural senses with which we are normally endowed – in order to rationalise it.
    If YOU don’t get it boss, …then there is ZERO hope for Vincent …and negative chance for Hal…. 🙂
    LOL …ha ha ha

    …but that is a bigger issue.
    Bushie was merely pulling Jeff’s leg ..by suggesting that he apologise for his role in foisting the dregs we now have in control of our legal system on poor Barbados.

    Like

  43. Alvin Cummins July 31, 2017 at 11:32 PM #

    Vincent
    I skipped to the end here to send you this reply, after I read that you said Belleplaine has always voted DLP. Maybe Belleplaine, but NOT St. Andrew. George Payne has been the representative for St. Andrew from ever since. Payne was even the Minister of Transport and works all during and after the BLP won from 1994. He is still the representative.
    The present leader of the opposition was attorney General and an esteemed member of Cabinet during the 14 years the BLP was in control. and for 4 of those years the DLP had only 2 seats; Thompson and Kellman.
    Nuff said.

    Like

  44. Vincent Haynes August 1, 2017 at 12:40 PM #

    Alvin Cummins July 31, 2017 at 11:32 PM #

    Sigh…..Alvin…..comprehension……for the last nine years George was irrelevant……in case you were not aware the DEMs have been in charge of the govt for the last 9 years.

    Belleplaine voted as usual for your representative,whose constituency office is also located in Belleplaine.

    Nuff said………

    Like

  45. David August 6, 2017 at 10:42 AM #

    It is good to see traditional media in the form of Voice of Barbados (VOB) willing to ventilate this matter Jeff has commented here. BU household has posted voluminously on it as we know. Tune in to today’s talk show on VoB at 11AM.

    Like

  46. David August 6, 2017 at 1:10 PM #

    @Jeff

    Did you get a chance a to listen to the discussion this morning on VoB? In summary what is your comment on the current state based on the feedback from the officers of the court who participated?

    Like

  47. charles skeete August 8, 2017 at 3:57 AM #

    “Culpability for the current state of affairs identified in the CCJ decision must lie with those respective governing administrations that have remained content over the years to countenance the status quo of the validity of the confession remaining purely a question of fact; one whereby most juries would be disposed to believe the word of the investigating police officer over that of the accused prisoner as to the voluntariness of the confession and therefore to find the latter guilty as charged.”

    No No No it is not the politicians fault if the electorate continue because of party affiliation to elect numbskulls ill equipped to perform the functions of governance; the culpability for the current state of affairs lies with educated persons like you who have benefiitted from taxpayers dollars but prefer to sit on the fence for fear of antagonising the political directorate rather than using your education to bring scholarly analysis to such issues for the benefit of the public who educated you.
    Here you go pontificating on an important national issue which had not for the CCJ and Attorney Pilgrim’s representation would have continues to sit as a damocles sword upon the deliverance of fair justice in the courts of Barbados.

    Like

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