By Rawlston Pompey
When ‘Jury Trials’ were seen to have taken on the appearance of ‘Criminal Trials (By Judge) Alone,’ then ‘Criminal Justice’ shall be in for a very ‘Rude Awakening.’
Looked at from another perspective, in criminal trials for murder, when ‘Judges’ assumed the role of ‘Juries,’ they run the risk of being seen by members of the society of causing ‘Travesties of Justice.’
Though not necessarily vile or reckless, callous or contemptuous, ‘Judges’ could expect open public discourses and many dissenting and angry voices.
MAXIM: LORD CHIEF JUSTICE’
These, inevitably, will have been heard from; (i) ‘Surviving and still mourning and grieving relatives; (ii) An outraged ‘Falmouth’ community; and (iii) A perplexed, distraught and disturbed nation.
The administration of justice, not only so dictates, but also demands. As it affects; (a) ‘Criminal Trials; (b) Criminal Justice; and generally, the concept called the ‘Administration of Justice,’ the century-old ‘Maxim’ of then ‘Lord Chief Justice Hewart’ still bears judicial relevance in today’s constantly evolving ‘Criminal Justice System.’
It was for very good reasons the ‘British Law Lord’s Dictum,’ has been constantly referred in many judicial decisions in many jurisdictions within the ‘Commonwealth.’
MANIFESTATION OF JUSTICE
Some one hundred years ago, the eminent ‘British Justice’ has posited; ‘Justice must not only be done, but ‘MANIFESTLY’ appear to have been done’ [1924: R v Sussex Justices; 1KB: 256].
When Trial Judge, His Lordship, ‘Justice Colin Williams’ denied; (i) The duly empaneled Jury; and (ii) Crown Prosecutor, Volston Graham’ a ‘Full Prosecutorial Opportunity,’ public responses may have loudly indicated to him that they had failed to see any ‘Manifestation of Justice.’
Though he may not necessarily have been pre-occupied with the constitutional right to the ‘Presumption of Innocence,’ by his ruling in the ‘No Case to Answer Submissions,’ he may have inadvertently caused ‘Public Confidence’ in the ‘Criminal Justice System’ to further wane.
This commentary is certainly not about how ‘Trial Judges or Adjudicators’ shall conduct criminal trials. No Sah! Een gohin een dey’ (Vernacular).
It looks primarily at that which obtained during; (a) ‘The declaration of the ‘State of Public Emergency; (b) The initial stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic ‘Lockdown and Crackdown; (c) Mandatory Curfew and other violations’ [April 9, 2020; (c)]; (d) Arrest; (e) Detention; (f) Custody; (g) Strangulation-Murder of alleged ‘Curfew-violator, Bruce Greenaway’ [April, 9, 2020].
In support of these fundamental assertions are that as contained and proclaimed by the people in the ‘Supreme Law-the ‘Constitution Order’ [1981: No.1106].
For the avoidance of doubt, the ‘Constitution Order states; ‘Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall; ‘Be presumed to be innocent.
Dedicated to the family of the Deceased-Bruce Greenaway’ [Detained: April 9, 2020 – Body Found: April 13, 2020].
SANCTITY OF LIFE
Many citizens would have also heard or read of innumerable scandals of one kind or another.
Then there have been the never ceasing parliamentary chaos and confusion; Countless traceless Missing Persons; ‘Bizarre and Sorrowful Tragedies,’ that have outraged the law-abiding citizens.
In small-nation societies, including the twin-island democratic nation of ‘Antigua and Barbuda,’ the populace, the overwhelming majority, peaceful and law-abiding, not only uphold the ‘Rule of Law,’ but also respects the ‘Sanctity of Life.’ The ‘Holy Scripture’ has made this vividly clear for those that conducts ‘Murder Trials,’ with or without Juries,’ how both; (i) ‘The Supreme Being; and (ii) The Supreme Law’ has ‘Spiritually and Secularly’ declared.
SCRIPTURALLY AND SECULARLY
The ‘Holy Scripture’ edifies and warns that; ‘…Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed’ [Bible Hub: Genesis 9: 6].
The ‘Supreme Law’ states ‘…No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally; (a) ‘…Save in the execution of the Sentence of the Court; and for what crime; (b) …Treason or Murder of which he has been convicted’ [CO: 1981: Section 4 (1)].
The only ‘Statutory Summary Offence,’ ‘Falmouth resident, Bruce Greenaway 43’ was alleged to have been committed by; (i) ‘ABDF Lance Corporal Shakiel Thomas 25; and ‘Sergeant of Police’ of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Clint Spencer,’ was ‘Breaching the Mandatory Curfew’ [April 9, 2020].
Then as fate sometimes has it, his punishment was ‘Death by Strangulation,’ as determined by Pathologist, Dr. Lester Simon’ [ANR: May 25, 2020].
Then again, those who were accused of carrying out this alleged ‘Extra-judicial Strangulation,’ were never put before the ‘Jury of his Peers’ Such so put, will have allowed ‘Crown Prosecutor, Volston Graham’ to ‘Cross Examine’ each of the four ‘Murder-Accused.’
In ascertaining who forcefully put his/her hands around the neck of the hapless and defenceless deceased.’ Instructively, when the ‘Mighty Sparrow’ sang ’10 vicious men attacked me at ‘Henry Street’ by ‘H.E. and Walker,’ he described it as ‘Ten to one is Murder’ [1960: YouTube].
TEN TO ONE – 4 TO ONE – STILL MURDER
Likened to the eruptions of the ‘Montserrat Soufriere Hills Volcano’  and ‘St. Vincent and the Grenadine’s La Soufriere Volcano’ [December 27, 2020], a ‘Storm of Controversy,’ has erupted over the ‘Dismissal of 4-Jointly-charged’ members of the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Security Forces.’
The deceased ‘Bruce Greenaway,’ wherever he may have been going to sing, and whatever number of persons brutally attacked him- ‘4 or 44 to One,’ they have not only squeezed out his vocal cord, but also mercilessly snuffed out his life [April 9, 2020].
Though not necessarily in satisfying public expectations, while ‘Trial Judges’ shall discharge their ‘Judicial and Adjudicating’ functions independently, they shall understand the perceptions likely to be harbored by members of the society with an understanding of what ‘Trials by Juries of Peers,’ are all about.
LAWFUL CUSTODY – CUSTODIAL SAFETY
The commentary deeply looks at (h) ‘The subsequent arrest of ‘4 members of the Security Forces’ by ‘Criminal Investigators,’ in whose ‘Lawful Custody,’ he was held.
It was alleged he was cold-bloodedly, senselessly and mercilessly ‘Strangled to Death’ [April 9 – 13, 2020].
Instructively, those ‘Reasonably Suspected’ of having committed the deadly act, were those charged with his ‘Custodial Safety.
It also looks at the apparent ‘Aborted Trial by Jury,’ that has shocked and rocked the nation that strongly believed that the four reported ‘Unsupervised’ members of the ‘Security Forces-ABDF and Police Service, had strangled him to death.
Youthful, exuberant, a career-ambitious, enthusiastic and energetic ‘Lance Corporal Shakiel Thomas 25: and Privates Amal Warner 20; and Aliyah Martin 20,’ have been enlisted in the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF);’ while Police Constable Jason Modeste, more advanced in age, had been enlisted in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB).’
No only have they made organizational careers of these ‘Security Forces,’ but with an apparent deep sense of pride and patriotism, committed their youthful lives to serving the nation. In the career fields they have chosen, functionally, the respective national responsibilities differ.
Yet in crises, the ‘Military’ is expected to render ‘Military Aid to Civil Power’ (Law enforcement).
There has been the professional understanding that whenever situations demand, the policy-makers may combine the agencies into a unit called the ‘Security Forces’ [1987: Constabulary College: Twickenham Park: Jamaica].
In the career fields they have chosen, functionally, the respective national responsibilities differ. From such training, whatever the objectives, these shall be achieved through ‘Functional Cooperation.’
This is with the understanding that each shall be guided either by ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MOUS)’ or ‘Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS).
Not infrequently, poor coordination was known to have occasioned casualties of one kind or another.
WOE UPON SUBORDINATES
Hence, these are pre-requisites to the avoidance of, inter alia; (a) ‘Decisional confusion; and (b) Operational conflicts.’ It was to the knowledge that ‘Weak Leadership,’ has often brought ‘Woe Upon Subordinates.’ Leadership is a practiced skill.
It does not ‘Fly.’ Yet in changing environments, the ‘Leaders’ shall show that he is with it. Speaking to ‘Abortion,’ invariably, for reasons of ‘Unwanted Pregnancies,’ ‘Abortions’ were often used for the unethical dispensing with the life of an unborn ‘Scientist; Prime Minister; Doctor; Lawyer; Dishwasher; Gardener; Undertaker; Grave Digger; Magistrate or a Judge.’
Each has fundamental societal roles to play. In the context of a ‘Criminal Trial,’ a ‘No Case to Answer Submission,’ has two possible outcomes and one perception. In order as referred, there is; (i) ‘Aborted trial; and (ii) Denial of Justice; and (iii) Travesty of Justice.’
JURY-INSTRUCTED: NOT GUILTY ACCUSED
As a former Police Court Prosecutor and Head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID)’ (Antigua and Barbuda), with these ‘UNDISPUTED FACTS,’ it shall do no harm to the ‘4 Jury-instructed Not Guilty-Murder-Accused.’
The very day on which the ‘COVID Emergency Regulations’ took effect, it was the last day, the children of ‘Bruce Greenaway’ may have been with them. Among the Regulations, it states; ’A ‘Mandatory ‘24 Hour’ Curfew’ shall be in effect from 6.00 a.m.
Thursday, 9th April 2020 to 6. 00 a.m. Thursday 16th April 2020 (herein referred to as the ‘Curfew Period’ [Statutory Instrument: No 27 of 2020: Eustace ‘Tiko’ Lake: Chairman Central Board of Health (CBH)].
In ‘Constructing a Prosecutorial Scenario,’ the instant case, there may be no doubt as to ‘FACTS’ that support ‘Evidence of Circumstances.’
For the purposes of an understanding and appreciation of; (i) ‘Evidence; and (ii) Circumstantial Evidence.’ Professional training speaks to these as; (a) ‘That which makes a ‘Fact’ evident; (b) That which supplies proof; and (c) The means by which a ‘Fact’ may be proved or disproved.
These might be done by way of ‘Direct or Circumstantial Evidence.’ This as further explained can be proved by that which was ‘Actually seen by an Eye-witness; or ‘Circumstances’ leading to a ‘Presumption of Fact.’
Now, if the following are not ‘Evidence of Circumstances,’ then it shall be respectfully asked; ‘If this is not ‘Circumstantial Evidence, then what is?
Given the circumstances that led to the deceased; (i) ‘Being restraint by one of the three accused– ‘Shakiel Thomas 20’ for breaching Curfew Regulations [April 9, 2020]: (ii) Eventually arrested by Sergeant Clint Spencer’ [April 9, 2020]: (iii) Reported conveyed in a vehicle to ‘an isolated Military Outpost’ in the vicinity of ‘Clarence House’ by murder-accused ‘Shakiel Thomas’ [April 9, 2020: (iv) Deceased failure to return, or communicate with home [April 9, 2020]: (v) Immediate prompting of ‘Missing Person Report’ to the Police [Detained: April 9, 2020: and (vi) Within four days of ‘Arrest, his lifeless and partially decomposed body was discovered at Indian Creek’ [Found: April 13, 2020].
Clearly, a very ‘Sloppy Investigation.
From practical prosecutorial experience, there will have been other ‘Fundamental Questions’ including: (v) What was the physical state of the deceased when he was taken into Custody: (vi) Who took him into custody? (vii) What instructions, (if any), were given to him by the ‘Sergeant Clint Spencer?’ (viii) To where was ‘Bruce Greenaway transported? (ix) To whose custody, (if anyone), was he transferred: (x) Was there a record of his detention/Arrest? (xi) To whom instructions may have been given for ‘Bruce Greenaway’s ‘RELEASE’ back into the ‘Mandatory Curfew Period;’ (xii) Was there a record of his release from Police/Soldier’s custody?’ The ‘Narrow Window for Investigation’ may have looked was: (a) Arrest/Detention; and (b) Release.’ The ‘Investigators/DPP,’ may very well have ascertained ‘Just what happened between that critical period.’
OATH OF JURY
Though some members of the ‘Jury, were known to have followed their own trend of thought, ideology or philosophy, ‘Jury Trial,’ is just what it is called. That may have been among the logical reasons the ‘British Law Lords/Lady’ have established precepts to guide the understanding of both ‘Judges and Juries.’ Most fundamental, is the ‘Jury’s Oath.’
They are judicially- bound to subscribe to the ‘Oath,’ either by ‘Swearing on the Holy Bible’ or by Affirmation.’ It reads; ‘I swear by ‘Almighty God’ that; (a) ‘I will well and truly try the several issues; (b) Joined between His Majesty, The King; and (c) The prisoner at the Bar; and (d) And a ‘TRUE VERDICT,’ give according to the ‘EVIDENCE’ [Criminal Evidence and Procedure: Page 146: Police Promotion Handbook: No. 2: 1978].
VERSIION OF EVENTS
The ‘Murder- Accused, called to go on their ‘Defences,’ the Jury will have had the greatest of opportunities to hear from the ‘Transporting/Transferring Soldier Private, Shakiel Thomas,’ his account or ‘Version of Events.’ Thus, members of the Jury may have taken keen observation of his demeanor and make assessment of his truthfulness and credibility and voracity, should he/they have opted to; (a) ‘Give evidence (on Oath); or (b) Make a statement from the Prisoner’s Dock (Unsworn).’
To appreciate an understanding of ‘CUSTODY,’ is to know, that it consists of two concepts, as shall be briefly explained. Though the ‘Bruce Greenaway’ will have been in the ‘Actual Custody’(physical) of the ‘Defence Force Soldier Shakiel Thomas; (b) He was still in the ‘Constructive Custody’ of an apparent not so competent; efficient, but ‘Grossly Negligent Sergeant of Police, Clint Spencer.’
From a professional criminal investigative perspective, the two that may have been criminally, properly and prosecutorally charged with the untimely and unnatural death of the ‘Falmouth resident, may have been; (a) ‘Member of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF), Shakiel Thomas 25; and (b) Member of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Sergeant Clint Thomas.’ Though ‘Circumstantial,’ the ‘Prosecutorial Contention’ is premised upon ‘Undisputed and Unchallengeable Facts,’ as contained hereunder in the reported sequence of events.
That which supports the ‘CUSTODY NEXUS’ (link to the ‘Police Sergeant and the male Soldier), was ‘CUSTODY’ of ‘Bruce Greenaway.’ Evidence has shown that on the ‘Fateful Night’ [April 9, 2020], he was reportedly; (a) ‘Arrested by Sergeant of Police Clint Spencer; (b) Placed in the ‘CUSTODY’ of a military personnel, ‘Shakiel Thomas; who (c) Reportedly drove away with him to an unknow and unidentified destination.’
Clearly for reasons of ‘Investigative Incompetence,’ the ‘Sergeant of Police’ fortuitously escaped prosecution that may have shown ‘Contributory,’ but ‘Gross Negligence’s has subjected one of his colleagues ‘Constable Modeste and the three Soldiers, including the lone female ‘Aliyah Martin’ to criminal prosecution.
GURFEW BREAKER – PHYSICAL CUSTODY
The alleged ‘Curfew Breaker, Bruce Greenaway,’ never lived to see the end of the ‘Mandatory Curfew Period.’ His apprehension by ‘Police Sergeant Clint Spencer and custody of ‘ABDF Lance Corporal Shakiel Thomas et al,’ have resulted in criminal prosecutions for the ‘Detainee’s disappearance and ‘Mysterious Death’ [April 9, 2020-April 13, 2020].
When four members of the nation’s Security Forces ‘Factually and Collectively’ took ‘Physical Custody’ of the Falmouth resident. This, as evidence is required to constitute ‘FACT,’ shall be substantiated by ‘Documentary Evidence,’ such as ‘Contemporaneous Entries in Station or Military Post Diaries.’
CUSTODIAN OF DETAINEE
Prosecutorally, such evidence shall show inter alia; (i) ‘…Date and time of ‘Curfew Breaker’ was detained; (ii) …Custodian of Detainee;’ and (iii) Date and time of release from custody.’ A Jury will know if the Deceased’ had: (a) ‘…Escaped ‘Mandatory Curfew Detention’ and walked to Indian Creek’ to commit a ‘Felo-de-se’ (Felony of himself/Suicide) [April 9, 2020]; or (ii) If he was in fact, ‘Murdered’ elsewhere and dropped-off on the beach for a ‘solo 4-day Swim,’ to laze in the Sun, and to catch ‘Sea Crabs and pick ‘Sea-side Grapes’ [April 9- 13, 2020].
The ‘Deceased’ was alleged only by member of the Royal Police Force of Antigua, Clint Spencer’ to have breached the imposed ‘Mandatory ‘Dusk to Dawn’ Curfew’ [April 9, 2020].
Then some four days later, his reported lifeless and partially decomposed body was found floating at the water’s-edge at ‘Indian Creek Bay’ [April 13, 2020].
Without stretching the imagination, and whether or not by their hands, logical ‘Criminal Investigative Thinking,’ would necessarily and immediately provoke ‘Reasonable Suspicion.’
Such would have been that a ‘Heinous; Brutal; and Senseless’ crime had been committed.
Even without ‘Scientific Aid,’ these appear sufficient ‘Prima Facie Evidence’ (on the face of it), for a ‘Jury’ at ‘Timbuktu,’ to allow for ‘Reasonable Discernment.’ Adjudicators with no ‘Law Enforcement Experience’ and/or ‘Criminal Investigation’ experience, are not necessarily disposed to thinking that way.
Their professional expertise lies in their ‘Adjudicating practice and skill. The Judges, along with empaneled ‘Juries’ comprising of ‘persons of reasonable intellect, guided by properly directed Judges,’ inferentially reached reasonable conclusions, even in trials where there was no ‘Direct’ or ‘Eyewitnesses’ almost contemporaneously recorded ‘Criminal Investigator’s account of that which they have actually seen, internalized and recollected.’
IRONY – AGONY – ANGUISH
In the instant Case, the ‘Fact in Issue’ is ‘Murder.’ The accused, four members of the Security Forces,’ comprising of ‘three Military personnel and one Police Constable.
There was as much ‘Irony’ as there was ‘Agony and Anguish.’ The former came when ‘Lance Corporal Shakiel Thomas’ attempted to ‘Detain Bruce Greenaway.’
This, from professional knowledge was changed with the reported intervention by Sergeant of Police, Clint Spencer,’ eventually arrested him for the alleged breach of the ‘COVID Regulations.’
There has been equally as much ‘Irony,’ as there has been Grief.’
Their innocence shall prevail until they have been; (a) ‘Fully tried and found guilty; or (b) Unless they, at a possible ‘Re-Trial’ may plead guilty to the lesser alternative to Murder, – ‘Manslaughter’ [CO: 1981: Section 15 (2) (a)].
Legal arguments on whatever points raised or submissions of ‘No Case to Answer,’ the latter was known to have ‘Aborted ‘Jury Trials.’ Advanced and counter-advanced ‘Legal Arguments,’ shall never be seen as taking precedence over the discharge of collective civic duty and responsibility.
While some adjudicators might be seen as being transfixed on safeguarding the rights of the criminal menaces to society, they are required to: (a) Follow the dictates of Law: (b) The ‘Supreme Court Order’ that has the effect of Law [Constitution Order: 1981: Transitional Provision: Section 7: Page 82].
Most importantly, the ‘Adjudicating Justices’ are guided by ‘Criminal Evidence and Procedure.’
BATTERY OF DEFENCE ATTORNEYS
This occurred when a battery of four ‘Defence Attorneys in the persona of; (i) Wendell Robinson: (ii) Lawrence Daniels; (ii) Sherfield Bowen; and (iv) Andrew O’ Kola successfully argued that the ‘Prosecution,’ led by contracted ‘Crown Prosecutor Volston Graham’ had not made out a ‘Prima Facie Case’ against the accused.
The historic extraordinary lengthy- 90-day trial reportedly, ended pre-maturely at the half-way prosecutorial stage, when ‘Criminal Assize Trial Judge, His Lordship Colin Williams, entertained legal arguments on ‘Four No Case to Answer Submissions’ [ANR: June 23, 2023].
SAME BOAT – DIFFERENT PADDLES
Researching for this commentary, one Attorney remarked; ‘Though the four accused were in the same boat, my client was rowing with a different paddle’ [June 24, 2023].
The apprehension reportedly occurred within his residential community of ‘Falmouth’ [April 9, 2020].
Accepting these ‘Unchallenged Facts,’ it seems obvious that the ‘Arresting officer Sergeant of Police Clint Spencer’ had not only ‘Neglected his Duty,’ but also foisted his responsibility on the ‘Military personnel, murder-accused Shakiel Thomas.’
These were not only, ‘Undisputed Facts’ but ‘Relevant to the ‘Fact’ in issue-MURDER’ for trial by the Jury so empaneled.
FLAWED MINISTERIALLY-MADE LAW
Incidentally, during enforcement of the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic Regulations,’ it saw the combined ‘Security Forces’ and its apparent hyped-up members doing both the ‘Unthinkable and Abominable.’
Likened to wild voracious hyaenas, they pounced upon the ‘Saints’ as they have done to the ‘Sinners.’
Among the first casualties were ‘Pastor Uriah Taylor 72’ and several protective, but incensed members of the ‘Bolans New Testament Church of God’ [Dominica News Online: March 29, 2020].
Enforcing a ‘Flawed’ ministerially-made ‘COVID-19 Regulations’ [No.16 of 2020], Satan appeared to have moved into ‘God’s Holy Temple’ with a contingent of uncouth, aggressive and heathen-like ‘Police officers.’
On the day of ‘Congregational Worship,’ the ‘Pastor and Congregants’ had an unwelcomed and disruptive visitor.
Demonstrating that they were ‘Minions of the Devil,’ the apparent unperturbed, yet roughed-up ‘Pastor Uriah Taylor’ confided that the officers seemingly ‘Possessed by Satan,’ allegedly using ‘Expletives or ‘Four-letter Epithets,’ nowhere to be found in any of the ‘New Testament of; ‘Matthew; Mark; Luke; and John’ [Holy Bible].
It was not clear if the ‘Devil’ had left his ‘Bridge’ east of the ‘Willikies’ community, but his presence was felt at ‘Pastor Taylors.’
US MILLIONS – SATANIC MINIONS
However, and though not like the ‘US Millions’ offered to ‘Port Manager Darwin Telemaque’ for the ‘Port’s apparent covetously-acquired ‘Luxurious ‘Russian-owned Superyacht, Alfa Nero,’ several heavily-armed ‘Satanic Minions’ disrupted the Sermon, being delivered to the receptive congregants. First to be snatched from the ‘Pulpit,’ was ‘Pastor Taylor.’
Secondly, they reportedly pounced upon, manhandled and subdued a few rowdy congregants.
This was believed to have happened after the ‘Spirit of God,’ clearly not wanting to ‘Strive’ or contend neither with ‘Policeman nor Satan’ [KJV: Genesis 6: 3].
Though not necessarily likened to the ‘Denying Behavior of Peter,’ the ‘Lord’ appeared to have shunned the ‘Presence of Evil.’
Then before the rest of the congregation could say ‘Jesus Wept [KJV: John 11: 35], they were all whisked off to a ‘Holding Cell’ at the ‘Bolans/Johnson Point Police Station’ [ANR: March 29, 2020].
With this said, when the history of the nation of ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ would have been recorded into the historical annals, posterity will have seen that it was not only a nation full of intrigues, but also one that the populace has seen many developments: – some dramatic; awe-inspiring; and some corruptibly shocking.
APPEARANCE OF TRAVESTIES
None may deny that these have bedeviled many societies, including this nation.
None may also deny that these have all been part of the human experiences.
Even so, these were never intended, and shall never be seen as part of the ‘Judicial and Criminal Justice Systems; and Administration of Justice.’
Then, invariably, there might be ‘Criminal Trials’ that were not only seen as ‘Pregnant with controversies; but also speaks to a ‘Criminal Justice System’ that have been seen in the eyes of many aggrieved litigants or those accused and tried, found guilty or not guilty an such had given the ‘Appearance of Travesties.’ It has been for such reason, the ‘Appellate Courts’ have been established.
AUTHORITY AND DISCRETION
It shall be made sufficiently clear to all a sundry that whatever professional competence, and whatever ‘Legal Authority and Judicial Discretion,’ resides with, and available to ‘Criminal Assize Judges,’ they none needs societal advice as to how such authority and such discretion shall be exercised.
Suffice to say, ‘Criminal adjudicators,’ are the ‘SOLE JUDGES OF LAW,’ while in ‘Jury Trials, the empaneled Juries are the ‘SOLE JUDGES OF FACT.’ The latter may perform their collective, but statutory-imposed ‘Civic Duties’ to the society, only when ‘Trial Judges’ decide against ‘Submission of No Case to Answer.’
SATAN COMING DOWN
From professional knowledge and practical experience, when this did not happen, by ‘Trial Judges’ not calling upon such ‘Jury Trial Persons,’ to go on their defence,’ this was usually one may hear the song; ‘Satan Coming Down’ [ Sir Rupert Philo: Mighty Swallow]. A ruling to continue ‘Trial by Jury’ is contingent upon ‘Advanced and counter-advanced ‘Legal Arguments’ by both ‘Defence Attorneys and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).’
CRIES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE
When ‘Trial Judges,’ in their ‘Judicial Wisdom,’ rightly ruled or for reasons that may be reek of speculations, wrongly ruled that an accused person has ‘No Case to Answer,’ they would have judicially-accepted ‘Legal Arguments’ that favored the ‘Defence Attorneys.’ Consequently, they shall discharge the accused.
Such ruling and such judicial course of action, have often provoked the inevitable. There is; ‘Weeping, as there is wailing; There is Fretting, as there is cursing.
Though not necessarily the last of other tarnishing expressions and vexing descriptions of the ‘Criminal Justice System,’ likened to ‘Grieving and Distraught Families,’ the citizenry also ‘Cries for Criminal Justice.’
JUDICIAL PRACTICE – DUTY OF JURIES
None shall be confused with the adjudicating ‘Functions of Judges’ and the civic, but statutory-imposed ‘Duty on Juries.’
That which shall be stated for the benefit of knowledge, are the differences. After empanelment of the Jury, and before the commencement of the Trial, it has been the ‘Judicial Practice,’ that Judges shall warn the Jury.
In the cases of ‘Justices Ephraim Georges; Albert Redhead; and Clare Henry-(Wason), though they have transitioned, their memory lives on.
Where indicted persons are to be tried by his/her peers, and as it relates to ‘FACTS,’ ‘huff’ not from the Jury the duty to hear the ‘Defence’ of the tried accused, that upon; (i) ‘Summation on the totality evidence adduced by the Prosecution and Defence (if any); (ii) Proper directions shall be given to the Jury by trial Judges; (iii) The Jury shall be instructed to retire to deliberate among themselves, and to return a ‘True Verdict.
This may either be: (a) Guilty; or (b) Not Guilty,’ according to the evidence’ [Jury’s Oath/Affirmation].
These meticulous, well-learned ‘Esteemed Justices’ would caution the Juries in language to the effect: ‘…You are the sole Judges of Fact; …It is up to you to accept ‘Facts’ that you find truthful, credible and believable, if you so find; Additionally, Facts’ that you may not so find, it is up to you to so discard.’ Conversely, from the ‘Bar,’ in their individual adjudicating capacity, each had warned the Juries in clear and understandable language; ‘…I am the sole Judge’ of Law; …The Facts that you receive, shall be applicable to the Law; …I will explain the Law and give you appropriate directions, but ‘ONLY’ on Law.’
PROPERLY DIRECTED JURIES
Thus, at all material times, you shall follow my directions it has always been ‘Properly Directed Juries,’ following ‘Legal Directions,’ that have often returned ‘True, well-reasoned and informed Verdicts.’
It has also been the professional knowledge and experience that fearful of ‘Irrational Verdicts,’ had made some ‘Trial Judges’ had made rulings that had denied juries the benefit of hearing ‘Summations’ when ‘No Case to Answer Submissions’ were upheld by ‘Trial Judges,’ that seemingly mind not, if aggrieved ‘Prosecutorial or Defence Attorneys,’ appealed to the ‘Devil in Hell.’
Lest it might be so believed, such has neither been the ‘Adjudicating Philosophy’ of ‘Trial Judge, His Lordship, Justice Colin Williams,’ nor the other esteemed ‘Criminal Assize Justices.’
Except in the mind, it might be considered ‘Perilously Contemptuous,’ to say so. When one speaks to ‘Trial by Jury of Peers,’ one is speaking to an empaneled number of persons of average intelligence, yet endowed with ‘reason and conscience.’
If one is to accept the operative word ‘Found,’ then the ‘Constitution Order’ is in fact saying to adjudicators; Should an accused person not ‘Plead Guilty,’ no ‘Legal Arguments’ were to make him/her ‘Not Guilty.’
None shall sully or tarnish their integrity and impeccability of character. Dedicated to the esteemed Justices.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE THINKING
Had ‘Charles Isaac,’ ‘King Boldface’ not yet transitioned to another place, and had been appointed to the ‘Judiciary,’ he may have been very concerned about the ‘Administration of Justice.
Given an opportunity at adjudication, he may liberate on the unfolding ‘Sequence of Events,’ these shall have been sufficient to make him call upon fellow deceased-calypsonians; (i) ‘King Swallow: Mighty Zero: Mighty Shadow; Calypso Joe; and Edimelo’ to sing; ‘Satan Coming Down.’ An invitation may also be extended invitation to ‘Mighty Sting Ray.’ He shall sing; ‘Ants Ah Bite Me.’
When ‘Sir MacLean Emanuel ‘King Short,’ take a tour, he will sing: Nobody Go Run Me’ [YouTube], from down here. Not one step further with this line of ‘non-criminal investigative thinking. Dedicated to their memory.
In a ‘State of Public Emergency,’ Law enforcement shall continue their normal ‘Civil Responsibilities’ of; (i) ‘Crime prevention; (ii) Crime detection; and (iii) Criminal prosecutions.’ Conversely, the ‘Military’ takes on the responsibility for both internal and external security.’
In a ‘State of Public Emergency,’ such powers are shifted to the Military.’ The designation of the ‘Civil Power’ is that of ‘Commissioner of Police,’ while that of the Military is that of ‘Chief of Defence Staff.’
DEFENCE ACT: STATE OF NORMALCY
The civilian population were often seen as starved for knowledge of the responsibility of the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF).
The ‘Defence Act’ states; ‘The Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force’ is responsible for the Defence of Antigua and Barbuda, and such other duties as the ‘Defence Board’ determine.’
That is generally in a State of Normalcy.’ Parliament anticipated that events may occur that may overwhelm and exhaust the resources of the ‘Civil Force.’
Consequently, they carefully and prudently inserted this ‘Sub-section; ‘In the event of ‘Public Emergency;’ (a) ‘The Governor General, may on the advice of the ‘Prime Minister; (c) By proclamation; (d) Direct that the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force; or (e) Part thereof, be employed to aid the civil community’ [Section 6: Defence Act: No. 10 of 2006].
CURFEW REGULATIONS – PUBLIC INQUIRY
Had there been a ‘Public Inquiry’ into the; (a) ‘Exercise of Emergency Powers’ during COVID-19 statutory-imposed Curfew Regulations,’ some of the atrocities alleged to have been perpetrated against the citizens, some members of the ‘Security Forces,’ may have been wondering how long they may have been remanded before ‘Criminal Courts or Court Martial’ would have commenced. Such Inquiry would have, undoubtedly, focused on; (a) ‘The detention/arrest of ‘Bruce Greenaway:’ (c) The reasonably suspected killing in the custody of members of the Security Forces.’ Then much more than this, it will have also looked at the apparent woeful deployment and poorly supervised ‘Murder-suspects.’
There shall be no doubt that ‘Systemic Flaws,’ to a great extent, may have resulted in the demise of a citizen, ‘Bruce Greenaway,’ whose ‘Fatal Flaw’ was breaking the ‘COVID-19 ‘One-week Dusk to Dawn Curfew’ [April 9, 2020].
None may also deny that the adversities faced, and the indignities suffered by the ‘Unfortunate Unsupervised Four’ murder-accused, may have been averted had there been an effective ‘Supervisory Structure’ in place. The accused, members of two separate ‘Security Forces.’
TRAGEDY AND WOE
They may have been victims of poor leadership; Poor Management; Poor deployment and ‘Supervisory Neglect,’ that has brough ‘Tragedy and Woe.’
This might reasonably be inferred from their lowly ranks consisting of; (a) ‘One Lance Corporal; (b) Two Privates; and (c) One Police Constable.’ They appeared to have deployed at the ‘bushy-isolated Military Outpost’ in the vicinity of ‘Clarence House.’
From their experiences with the ‘Criminal Justice System,’ they, seemingly left to their own devices may have been ‘Victims of poor administrative decisions, deployment and supervisory neglect.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Mindful of the ‘Administration of Justice,’ and not necessarily that which was fatal to an accused person, in other jurisdictions the ‘Custody Nexus’ may very well have been a good judicial reason for a ‘Trial Judge’ to have placed murder-accused ‘Shakiel Thomas and co-accused’ on their ‘Defence.’
Under vigorous, extensive and unrelenting ‘Cross Examination’ by the ‘Crown Prosecutor,’ they would have been required to tell the ‘Jury, inter alia;’ (i) ‘Were you officially deployed for duty on the fateful evening? (ii) Can you tell the Jury who deployed you? (iii) Was the person who deployed ‘Military/Police personnel? (iv) Can you say the rank? For what reason/s did you attempt to ‘detain Bruce Greenaway before the arrival of Sergeant of Police Clint Spencer? (ii) Before his intervention, if anything, what may have been said to him? (iv) If anything, what did he say or do?’
The latter in fact would have occurred when the apparent starved-for-knowledge or responsibility-shirking and lazy Sergeant, foisted upon the ‘innocent Soldier.’
That which has been the author’s experience, some members of society, as well as ‘Disciplined Forces,’ are better ‘Moonlighters; Goat hunters; and Ghost workers,’ than they are ‘Law enforcers.’
Should Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney QPM,’ and reputable and distinguished members of the august body called the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC),’ not known of these ‘Uncontroverted Facts, then through this medium, some reader may direct their respective positions of; (i) ‘Administrator: and (ii) Promoters of police personnel to ranks beyond their professional competence.
CONTRACTED CROWN PROSECUTOR
When the ‘State-contracted Crown Prosecutor, Volston Graham,’ prosecutorally engaged to represent ‘Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shannon Jones-Gittens’ in a four-accused murder trial, his delayed arrival, necessitated contingency arrangements.
Whether or not it was for reasons of lack of self-confidence, incompetence or evasiveness, she was reportedly forced to meet the ‘Court-Fixtured Date’ for trial. Several factors may have militated against the Prosecution.
These included; (i) ‘Reported non-laboratory-examined Forensic sample.
These have always been, necessary to assist in strengthening; (i) ‘The Factual Nexus’ of the irrefutable detention of the deceased; (ii) His undeniable apprehension; and (c) Apparent questionable release from the custody of the four accused ‘Military and Police’ personnel’ [April 9, 2020].
None may deny that the ‘Pathologist-determined strangled-murder of ‘Bruce Greenaway,’ appeared to have been as unlawful, as it appeared ‘Coldblooded and Senseless.’
The trial, that has now left the ‘Apex Court,’ and now reported to be on ‘an Appellate Journey’ to the ‘Itinerant Intermediate Court,’ the ‘Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).’
That which was professionally known was that ‘Submissions of No Case to Answer,’ has long been an established part of ‘Criminal Trials and Criminal Justice.’
Even so ‘Trial Judges’ may run the risk of being seen by a citizenry as imposing their judicial will on ‘Juries,’ by instructing them to; return verdicts on decisions the ‘Trial Judges have decided upon the basis of legal arguments; (i) ‘Entertained in their absence; (ii) Without the benefit of hearing the totality of the evidence adduced by the ‘Prosecution and Defence attorneys; (iii) Without the benefit of ‘Summation of the Evidence: (iii) Receiving directions by ‘Trial Judges; and (iv) An opportunity to assess to retire and consider a ‘True Verdict,’ as the Oath’ so dictates.
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