KARTEL et al...GUILTY VERDICT STANDS
The trial of Adijah Palmer aka Vybz Kartel and his associates is now one for the history books as its second stanza was concluded in a Jamaican Appeal court earlier today. This episode will forever be referenced as "The Vybz Kartel" appeal, and this afternoon the Jamaican Court of Appeal denied the claims of Kartel and associates and allowed the decision of the learned Trial Judge Justice Campbell after a jury of their peers returned a verdict of guilty on all counts on March 13, 2014.
As trials go, this one was clearly not without its own twists and turns. The events of its conduct were outlined in the Appeal summary and from what has been presented, one must certainly doff one's cap to the trial Judge for seeing the matter to its eventual conclusion. It is clear that multiple attempts were made to taint the proceedings. Efforts were not spared to try to bribe members of the jury pool -with offers of Ja$500,000.00 made to particular members. I am impressed that none took the offer.
You see, if we are serious about transforming Jamaica, one of the first places to begin, has to be the restoration of confidence in the ability of our Justice system to secure convictions. Make no mistake about it that the only deterrent to murderers is successfully convicting those who commit those crimes. That starts with the men and women who comprise its personnel and chief among those personnel are the ordinary Jamaicans who make up a panel of jurors.
I am not surprised that no effort was spared to discredit the sole witness, nor to discredit the electronic evidence or the forensics. After all, it is the job of the defense team to "mud-up" the witness(es) and cast doubt on any presented evidence. That it did not succeed is a testament to the quality of the jurists and the guts and professionalism of the trial judge. I am satisfied with the findings and decisions of the courts at both the local and appeal levels and to this end Kartel and company are guilty as charged.
Jamaica is a place where MURDER is commonplace...where, to some in our society, the lives of our fellow Jamaicans are of little or no value. It is difficult to wrap one's head around that thinking, even more difficult too, to field the comments of many who should know better. Many, who were waiting to cheer Kartel and his cabal were they to have been freed. In the end, a Jamaican Judge was prepared to break new ground in court room trial process with the testing of technological evidence...corralling the digital footprints of all concerned and to find them guilty of the crime for which they were charged.
How did we get here? How do we move our country forward when we can find no place in our thinking to appreciate the work of the ordinary Jamaicans who have been brave enough to come to the collective decision that has held some of their own...guilty as charged.
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