Plea Guilty To Manslaughter – Get Away With Murder
by Rawlston Pompey
To mothers everywhere, when it may have been seen that there was nothing quite as painful as ‘Child’s birth,’ deadly ‘Shootings and Stabbings,’ grimly reminds mothers of certain biblical teaching. Many would have been edified by the ‘Scriptural Warning;’ that; ‘Man that is born of woman, is short of days and full of trouble’ [KJV: Job 14: 1]. This may have manifested itself when a clearly ‘Unprovoked Knife Attack,’ left his mother ‘Maudlyn James’ a grief-stricken. Three violent-prone, knife-wielding youth snuffed out the life of her defenceless son, ‘Shane ‘Watches’ James 28.’ He was overwhelmed, and overcame by multiple death-intended ‘Piercing and Penetrating’ stab wounds to the body, to which he succumbed. The attack not only shock the nation into dismay, but also provoked outrage among members of the ‘Sea View Farm’ community, and by extension, the populace [May 7, 2015].
This commentary looks at the constitutional position, role and functions of the ‘Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’ within this jurisdiction, but also seeks to ‘Awake the Sleeping Conscience of the Judiciary.’ It also respectfully reviews ‘His Lordship, Justice Stanley John’s’ ‘Non-Sentencing Philosophy.’ The courses of action taken by ‘Crown Prosecutors,’ continue to offend logic. It also looks at the ‘Prosecutorial Tragedy,’ that occurred in the ‘Aborted Shane ‘Watches’ James Murder Trial.’ Further, it provides a professional view of the evidentiary elements that constitute; (i) ‘Murder; and (ii) The alternative Verdict of Manslaughter.’
Down through the pages of history, the loss of life at the hands of man was known as ‘Killing.’ Scriptural readings reveal that out of ‘Prosperity Jealousy,’ triggered by pent up feelings of animosity, saw ‘Cain’ ‘Killed’ his brother ‘Abel’ [KJV: Genesis 4: 1- 16]. The ‘Spirit of God’ appeared to have left the body of ‘Cain.’ When modern man established society, he anticipated that man will kill for any, and everything. Thus, out of ‘Anger; Jealousy; Sex; Property; and Money,’ man will ‘Kill’ his fellowmen. This necessitated mechanisms for ‘Social Control.’ Then through formalized institutions in seeking to control man’s temper and curb his violent rage, it was decided that whosoever takes life, such ‘Killing shall be called ‘Homicide.’ Conversely, if man ‘Kills,’ when there was ‘No intention to Kill,’ such will be called ‘Manslaughter.’
Conversely, if man kills deliberately and the element of ‘Malice,’ whether; (a) Expressed; or (b) Implied,’ is present, then such killing constitutes the ‘Crime of Murder.’ Consequently, if he is to enter a ‘Guilty Plea,’ it shall be for no other offences, but that which he/she stands indicted. Irrespective of the nature of crime, the ‘Constitution Order,’ not only supports a ‘Voluntary Plea,’ but also guarantee the ‘Right to be Presumed Innocent.’ None, therefore, shall be induced to ‘Waive such ‘Right’ for that which he/she was ‘NEVER’ indicted. [ANU: CO: 1981: Section 15].
A COMPOUNDED TRAVESTY
The final disposal of the ‘Joint-Murder Indictments,’ not only appeared; (a) ‘Wreak of prosecutorial inconsistencies and indiscretions, but also judicial insensitivity and incivility. ‘As with all other ‘Administrators of Justice,’ when ‘His Lordship, Justice Stanley John,’ would have been forced by ‘Crown Prosecutors’ not to cause a 12-member Jury to be impaneled to try the ‘Murder Indictment,’ against ‘Three Knife-Wielding Indicted Murderers,’ and accepted ‘Brief Case Facts’ for a decision, clandestinely made outside the Judiciary,’ the Court shall have seen itself as ‘Compounding a Travesty.’
FLIRTED WITH TRAVESTY
It has been the expressed view of many law-abiding, but outraged citizens, that only those that favored and savored ‘Shortcut to Justice,’ would have taken a non-prosecutorial approach to such a heinous criminal act. After a four year ‘Trial Delay’ on ‘Indictment for Murder,’ ‘Crown Prosecutors and Administrator of Justice,’ accepted two ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas.’ They had in fact ‘Flirted with Travesty.’ The proceedings ended by presenting ‘Un-Judicially-Tested Case Facts.’ Incidentally, the accused ‘Ryan ‘Chargie’ Samuel’ correctly pleaded guilty to Murder as indicted [Observer: July 3, 2019]. With clearly no ‘Mitigating Features,’ only a ‘Facts-Taking Administrator,’ obscured by ‘Judicial Blindness,’ may have seen otherwise.
FEATURES OF AGGRAVATION
Research showed a preponderance of evidence, strengthened by overwhelming ‘Features of Aggravation. Reasonable drawn inferences, revealed not only; (a) ‘An Intention to kill,’ but also; (b) ‘Meeting of criminal minds; (c) A well-planned knife-attack; (d) A well-timed, and almost surgically-executed operation; and (e) An unmistaken ‘Common Design.’ The end results, ‘Multiple stab wounds and death.’ At ‘Trial,’ a properly directed Jury, would find no difficulty in arriving at the appropriate Verdict. When the said ‘Administrator of Justice,’ sentenced the two apparent cold-blooded killers to ‘Time Served on Remand,’ and ‘Set the Killers Free,’ Satan’ may have said; ‘That ‘Administrator’ qualifies to be on the ‘Roll’ down below.’
MURDER: COMMON LAW
It has been the professional knowledge, practical law enforcement and criminal investigation, that the crime of ‘Murder’ had been legally recognized from ‘Time Immemorial’ as a punishable criminal offence. This has been so, long before today’s ‘Administrators of Justice’ had seen the ‘Court’s Gavel.’ Given its societal prevalence and frequency, it was made a crime at ‘Common Law.’ Should such planning revealed, ‘Premeditation’ with ‘Malice aforethought,’ then such ‘Killing’ shall be called ‘Murder.’ This has been so within the British Commonwealth jurisdictions, particularly those retaining the ‘London Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).’ Conversely, neither ‘Crown Prosecutors,’ nor ‘Administrators of Justice’ may point to a specific ‘Statutory or Common Law’ provision that has defined ‘Manslaughter’ as a crime.
Thus, within this jurisdiction, ‘Manslaughter’ has never been made; (i) ‘An arrestable; (b) Chargeable; (c) an Indictable; nor Prosecutable criminal offence.’ Though it has been classified as an ‘Unlawful Killing,’ yet, without ‘Premeditation and Malice.’ From this perspective, ‘Trial Judges’ are judicially-bound to explain the ‘Criminal Elements’ to Juries, that they shall have a clear understanding of; (i) ‘Murder’ as the chargeable crime; and (ii) Manslaughter as the ‘Alternative Verdict for Juries.’ Instructively, as obtained in other ‘OECS jurisdictions, the law provides only for punishment for a conviction of ‘Murder,’ as well as for a return verdict of ‘Manslaughter’ by the Jury.’ [ANU: Sections 3 and 5: Offences Against the Person Act: Chapter 300].
GREATER AND LESSER
Professional instructions on ‘Criminal Evidence and Procedures,’ enlightened ‘Trainees’ of the meaning of these words, ‘Greater and Lesser.’ In their application to the chargeable crime of ‘Murder,’ it was said it o includes the ‘Alternative Verdict of Manslaughter.’ Those indicted for ‘Murder,’ shall not be confused that they have been charged with a Verdict.’ It is not only the adjudicating function of ‘Trial Judges’ to explain, but also to properly direct and guide their understanding of legal elements that constitute the crime. Every ‘Trial Judge’ know the results of ‘Improper Jury Directions.’ First, a ‘Return Verdict’ that might prompt ‘Crown Prosecutors’ to test the reasoning powers and rationality of Judges. This was often the case, even when the Jury chose to interpret the law differently.’ Secondly, an Appeal by the Prosecution, citing ‘Improper Directions’ on the Law.’ This was when the accused persons ‘Get Away with Murder and Punishment,’ as in the instant Case.
VIOLENCE AND BARBARISM
Grief-stricken, a mother continues to wail and mourn over the stabbing death of her son. Shocked into dismay, gnashing the teeth, a community riled up against ‘Violence and Barbarism.’ Overwhelmed, but united by grief, member of society rant and rave. Terror-stricken, a citizenry calls for ‘Justice’ and protection. It will have been observed that many that have been appointed to serve the public and assigned certain legal responsibilities, appeared not to have fully accorded judicial recognition. Neither had the idiom’s conceptualization of that which shall be accepted as ‘Fair; Just; and Equitable.’
So, damning to ‘Crown Prosecutors; So outrageous to the Citizenry; So disturbing to the ‘Seaview Farm community; and So vexatious to the spirit,’ it necessitated instant institution of ‘Appellate Proceedings,’ to correct that which was nationally perceived as a ‘Grievous Travesty’ to his mother, Maudlyn James’ [May 7, 2015]. Yet, it appeared that in the mind of the Court they were not aggravative enough to merit consideration of a ‘Custodial Sentence.’ The proceedings, reduced to merely a Prosecutor-presenting ‘Brief Case Facts’ for the unindicted alternative ‘Jury Verdict of ‘Manslaughter.’
Research has shown that ‘Maudlyn James, along with her ‘Murdered Son,’ were among several other ‘Bus-commuting residents of the pottery-making, quiet, sleepy ‘Sea View Farm’ community.’ They were reportedly awaiting to be bussed to a St. John’s destination. He was attacked by three knife-wielding youth. In a vain attempt to escape, as fate sometimes has it, he was not positioned to repel the attack. Several viciously-inflicted stab wounds saw his tragic death. This has not only brought unbearable pain, constant misery and ‘Mental Agony’ to the family, but also mirrored a notoriety’ to the ‘Criminal Justice System’ by a ‘Non-Murder Trial Decision,’ and ‘non-incarceration following an apparent ‘Pre-arranged Manslaughter Guilty Plea.’
Now, more than ever, it appears that those in quest of ‘Justice’ through the ‘Criminal Justice System,’ may have seen that ‘Justice’ appeared to have been allowed to see the faces of heartless and merciless ‘Murderers,’ beaming smiles for their advantageously exploited both, the ‘Prosecutorial Service and Criminal Justice System.’ When grief comes upon the law-abiding by unchecked and festered ‘Societal Lawlessness;’ (i) ‘Law enforcers; (ii) Crown Prosecutors; and (iii) Adjudicators and administrators of Justice,’ shall not only be seen as reactively endeavoring to promote societal quietude, but also seeking to engender the ‘Spirit of Communality.’ They shall know that civil society has no tolerance for, and seeks no mercy for ‘Cold-blooded Murderers.’
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
As it affects ‘Crime and Punishment,’ not infrequently, blame was apportioned to the adjudicators. That which shall be told is that when ‘Crown Prosecutors’ took ‘Shortcuts to Justice.’ The Case of the ‘Knife-Wielding Killers’ irrefutably makes the point. It will have been seen that when apparent ‘Prosecutorial Incompetence and/or inexperience prompted reasonably-drawn inferences, ‘Trial Judges’ were ‘Scapegoated’ and unfairly subjected to public ridicule. Factually, these adjudicators would have done nothing adjudicating or judicially wrong. In ‘Chambers, Camera or at Bar,’ Judges are all under subjection of ‘Rules of the Court.’ Equally as much, they shall be accorded courtesy and respect, so shall these be expected from them.
PRIMA FACIE CASE
Crown Prosecutors shall ‘Establish a ‘Prima Facie Case.’ If at the end, and close of the ‘Case for the Prosecution,’ and no ‘Legal Submissions’ are made for ‘No Case to Answer,’ then the Accused shall be called upon to go on the defence. They shall prove the guilt of the accused ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt.’ Such ‘Doubt’ is neither to be harbored by; (a) ‘Crown Prosecutors; (b) Defence Attorneys; nor (c) Trial Judges.’ Such ‘Doubt’ shall be in the minds of ‘Members of the Jury.’ Even so, before retirement to consider a ‘Verdict ‘Trial Judges’ shall direct Juries that should they harbor such ‘Doubt,’ it shall be resolved in favor of the ‘Accused’ they have tried. This is point where Juries shall decide, whether or not to allow ‘10 Guilty men to go free,’ than to find ‘One Innocent accused ‘Guilty.’
From basic to advanced ‘Law Enforcement’ training, knowledge and practical criminal investigations, ‘Murder Indictments,’ meant, and still mean ‘Trial by Jury.’ It means ventilating and testing the evidence of witnesses under ‘Oath or Affirmation.’ It means subjecting witnesses to vigorous ‘Cross Examination.’ Before, leaving the witness stand, it means craving the Court’s indulgence in informing ‘Witnesses of Interest’ that they are ‘Still Under Oath.’ That is to say; (a) ‘The Defence may wish to put further questions; or (b) The Jury may also wish to seek clarification of facts that seems ambiguous and/or difficult to comprehend.
TRAVESTY THAN JUSTICE
Today, more than ever, that which has been observed as trending within the ‘Criminal Jurisdictions’ of the ‘OECS,’ was that some ‘State-appointed Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPP),’ have developed, gravitated and embraced an unwholesome ‘Non-prosecutorial Practice.’ In which case, some accused persons were not put on trial for that which they had been indicted. It has been widely viewed that such practice has brought more ‘Travesty,’ than ‘Justice’ to those that have been left bereaved. It will have been seen that many ‘Crown Prosecutors’ have been relying on the simple task of merely giving ‘Brief Facts of the ‘Guilty Plea Cases’ to ‘Magistrates and Judges.’ Given that which was alleged to have transpired in the presence of the mother of the deceased, research revealed no laudable acts that may have been seen as ‘Special’ to the heinous criminal act.
Incidentally, ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas’ have now been used as a ‘Bargaining Chip’ by ‘Defence Attorneys,’ and ‘Red Herring Bait’ to catch ‘Crown Prosecutors.’ In reverse, these ‘Public Prosecutors,’ will have been seen as using a ‘Barracuda to catch a Sprat.’ Such was apparent when the preferred choice of a ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea’ over a ‘Full Prosecutorial Trial’ for Murder’ was accepted. This effectively eliminated ‘Trial by Jury.’ Clearly, in the referred Case, the learned Justice seemed to have completely ignored the gravity of the ‘Crime of Murder.’ Consequent upon which, there may have been ‘Factors’ that may have been misguidedly accorded improper judicial consideration.’
PERILS TO JUSTICE
In spite of human fallibility, individually and collectively, Judges, owe to themselves to be legally, judicially, professionally and ethically ‘Self-Guided.’ Therefore, since theirs has been the responsibility to adjudicate criminal proceedings, they shall be seen as endowed with the ‘Sense of Reason and Understanding.’ These allow for making informed judicial decisions. Where these were perceived to be lacking, they tend to bring nothing, but ‘Perils to Justice.’ In criminal trials, with or without Juries, they give legal directions to Juries, as they shall give to themselves when adjudicating as ‘Judge Alone.’ Though they have not openly said so, from professional knowledge, it has never been an Adjudicator’s duty to; (a) ‘Make strong prosecution cases weak; nor (b) Make ‘Weak Defences strong.’ Theirs, have always been the administration and dispensation of Justice.’
TOOK FLIGHT – HOT PURSUIT
The incident saw two ‘Public Roads’ within the community, being watered with the blood of a ‘28-year-old promising Chef.’ The stab wounds effectively drained the blood-carrying vessels of vital contents necessary for man’s and his survival. That which ‘Public Prosecutors,’ appeared not to have taken into consideration, was that the ‘Deceased,’ reportedly ‘Took Flight.’ He reportedly sprinted for an estimate distance of ‘some 1, 200 feet,’ to escape the wrath of the knife-wielding accused. Then in ‘Hot Pursuit,’ the ‘Knife-Wielders,’ inescapably cornered him when his bloody-clothed body, fell at the residence and ‘Haberdashery Shop,’ of the mother of ‘former Education Minister, Michael Browne.’
MORE BLOOD THAN RAIN
Then with ‘Merciless Vengeance’ and unstoppable and deadly wields, with apparent razor-sharp knives,’ they reportedly inflicted multiple ‘Life-Taking Stab Wounds’ to various parts of his body [May 7, 2015]. On the fateful day, she would have seen more ‘Human Blood’ flowed onto her residence, than ‘Rain’ that fell on the ‘Sea View Farm’ community,’ for the entire ‘Month of May- 7, 2015.’ The consequences of which left a helpless and terrified mother grief-stricken.’ Most horrifying to his ‘Eyewitness Mother,’ was the apparent insensitive and non-prosecutorial approach’ taken by ‘Crown Prosecutors.’ Had ‘His Lordship Justice Stanley John’ been seized of this critical piece of evidence, he could neither have considered it ‘Special to the Crime,’ nor ‘Mitigating.’
MIND SHATTERING TRAVESTY
When they crazily ‘Aborted a Murder Trial’ in which they had seen a ‘Reasonable Prospect of Conviction,’ then accepted a ‘Defence-offered Manslaughter Guilty Plea,’ the ‘Prosecutors for the Crown,’ had clearly reduced the gruesome nature of the vicious and serious crime. In fact, such ‘non-prosecutorial decision, suggested a condition that bordered insanity. Luckily, residential conditions at the ‘Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital,’ would, undoubtedly, add more aggravation to their sanity. From the news portals there are those that have delivered decisions were said to have been wreak of irrationality. Prosecutorally, there have been some decisions that were not only perceived as insane, but also speaks to a ‘Mind Shattering Travesty.’
CORRUPT PROSECUTORIAL PRACTICE
This may have been the experience of a grieving and distraught ‘Mother, Maudlyn James.’ Many people have perceived the action to have been nothing short of a ‘Corrupt Prosecutorial Practice.’ As agonizing as it may have been, had three ‘Knife-Wielding Killers’ put on ‘Trial for the ‘Murder’ of her son ‘Shayne ‘Watches’ James,’ the Prosecution would have discharged their ‘Prosecutorial Duties’ to the public. The accused would have been tried by a ‘Jury of their Peers.’ Though graphic and painful, the Jury would have heard firsthand, what actually transpired, particularly that which she had personally witnessed. Some persons, likened to some things that were often made to be expediently unequal, she likened to the Jury, were denied the opportunity to ventilate the evidence.
FULL CRIMINAL TRIAL
The evidence, no doubt, will have been hair-raising for even a mindful ‘Jury,’ had there been a ‘Full Criminal Trial.’ To an adjudicator, with a deep ‘Sense of Sensitivity,’ the graphic nature of ‘Eyewitnesses Accounts’ of the heinous criminal act, will have been sufficiently as to nudge, move and touch and awake an apparent ‘Sleeping Conscience of the Judiciary.’ Moreover, no ‘Criminal Trial Judge,’ shall be seen as giving the citizenry reasons to provoke their perceptive skills. Such has the potential to view ‘Adjudicating Judges,’ as showing deference and scant respect for the ‘Sanctity of Life.’
TIME SERVED ON REMAND
If ‘His Lordship, Justice Stanley John’s’ idea of ‘Sentencing’ had efficacy as some Vaccines, he may not have ordered two of the three ‘Knife-Wielding killers;’ ‘Dane ‘Blinga’ Hart and Lenroy ‘Ramone’ Black,’ to ‘Time Served on Remand.’ This has not only been a ‘Judicially-Invented Misnomer,’ of grievous consequences to the dispensation of ‘Justice.’ However, the esteemed Justice, shall not be crucified for the ‘Sins of Prosecutorial Sinners.’ Moreover, those that have sacrificed ‘Justice’ by accepting ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea’ for ‘Murder,’ appeared as guilty as ‘Cold-Blooded Murderer.’
Even respectfully according the benefit of doubt to ‘His Lordship, Justice Stanley John’ there may have been a serious omission, if not, ‘Avoidable Inadvertence.’ His Lordship’ appeared to have been fixated upon ‘Time Served on Remand,’ than the statutory-provided penalties. It was obvious that he may not have exercised judicial diligence, sufficient for him familiarize himself with the provisions of the law’ [Offences Against the Person Act].’ Inadvertently, the overlooked penalty, saw ‘Crown Prosecutors,’ taking the controversial judicial decision to another level [OAPA: Section 3]. The ‘Supreme Law- Constitution Order’ provides for a justifiable course of action [CO: 1981: Section 4 (2)].
PENALTIES FOR MANSLAUGHTER
When persons have been so charged, and ‘Prima Facie Evidence’ show ‘Prospect of Conviction’ or may serve the ‘public’s interest,’ then ‘Crown Prosecutors’ shall indict for Murder, pending ‘Trial by Jury.’ As it relates to the alternative verdict of ‘Manslaughter,’ Statutory provisions provides for punishment. The law states; ‘Whosoever shall be convicted of ‘Manslaughter,’ shall be liable, at the discretion of the Court, to be imprisoned for; (i) ‘A term not exceeding thirty-five years, with or without hard labour; or (ii) Ordered to pay such fine as the Court may determine; or (iii) Without any such other discretionary punishment as aforesaid’ [OAPA: Section 5].
That which ‘Crown Prosecutors’ appeared not to have factored in the ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea Offer,’ was that by the time ‘His Lordship’ took away ‘Time for This; Time for That; Time for Hither and Time for Tither,’ there was virtually no ‘Time’ left for ‘Manslaughter-convicts ‘Blinga and Ramone’ to serve at ‘1735.’ Guided by the Offences Against the Person Act,’ there shall have been more than enough ‘Time.’ The ‘Act’ states; ‘Whosoever shall be convicted for ‘Manslaughter,’ shall be liable, at the discretion of the Court, to be imprisoned; (a) ‘For any term not exceeding thirty-five years; or (b) Pay such fine as the Court may award’ [OAPA: Sections 3 & 5].
TIME FOR CHURCH
As both ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea-Convicts’ walked freely, were they not quickly returned to the penitentiary, pending ‘Crown Prosecutors Appeal,’ there would have been adequate ‘Time’ available for them attend ‘Church’ at the ‘Sir Vivian Richards Stadium’ [ANU: December 17, 2022]. They would not only have seen ‘Burna Boy’ perform, but also hear ‘Father Philis’ preach the ‘Concert Gospel’ and sing the song; ‘Brawling’ [You Tube]. Then when the ‘EC$1, 000 Ticket Fee’ received blessing from ‘Father Phillis’ and cursing and fretting when the concert was over, likened to ‘Ramone and Blinga,’ many congregants will have been going home ‘Bawling’ [ANR].
IGNORANCE AND ABUSE
In all ‘Murder Trials,’ the consideration as to whether or not an accused person intended the ‘Natural and Probable Consequences’ of his/her actions, resides only with ‘Juries of their Peers.’ Except procedural Ignorance’ and prosecutorial ‘Abuse,’ under existing and enforceable laws of ‘Antigua and Barbuda,’ the latter is neither indictable nor a ‘Pleadable’ criminal offence. It is an ‘Alternative Verdict to Murder.’ This is returnable ‘ONLY’ by ‘Juries,’ if they are satisfied that an accused person had ‘No Intention’ to kill. The law provides for an intention to do serious harm that had resulted in death.’ It shall be warned, that some facts might be distressing, if not disturbing. These are shared knowledge of the Law; Practical Law enforcement; Criminal investigations; and Police prosecutions.’ Still, it is worthwhile to know what currently obtains within the ‘Criminal Justice System.’
MALICE: CRIMINAL ELEMENTS
As it affects ‘Murder Trials,’ non-conduct of such proceedings, have not only provoked anger and outrage in the populace, but invariably begged for rationality for some ‘Court Decisions.’ The constituent element that speaks to ‘Implied Malice,’ shall show conclusively by evidence, adduced, the accused person had expressed ‘No Intention to Kill.’ Notwithstanding, evidence shall show that the accused persons ‘Intended to inflict grievous bodily harm’ to another. The impaneled 12-members Jury, shall collectively and unanimously determine whether or not: (i) ‘The accused intended to kill as indicted; or (ii) Reckless that his action would have resulted consequences death.’ Such might be seen through reasonably drawn inferences.
SANCTITY OF LIFE
In constitutional democracies, such as those comprising and existing within the ‘Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), their respective ‘Constitution Orders’ provide for respect for the ‘Sanctity of Life,’ Even as these countries ‘Criminal Justice Systems’ provide ‘Penal Consequences’ for those that showed no respect for human lives, the ‘Murderers’ appear no different to some appointed to the Judiciary as ‘Administrators of Justice.’ The ‘Supreme Judicial officer,’ could have been speaking to ‘Facts-Taking Judges’ for ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas.’
In the ‘Shayne ‘Watches’ James Murder,’ a ‘Philosophical Practice’ had been borne out. There was no trial of those who had tragically snuffed out the life of ‘Shayne ‘Watches’ James.’ Most heart wrenching was when ‘His Lordship, Justice Stanley John,’ judicially-obliged, and received the ‘Untested Facts of the Case.’ Had there been a ‘Murder Trial,’ no ‘Adjudicator’ could have been convinced that the evidence was of a ‘tenuous nature as to have created ‘Doubt’ in the mind of the ‘Jury’ over the guilt of two of the three accused. Thus, when he decided, and ‘Set the Killers Free,’ such appeared to have been nothing short of ‘Travesty of Justice.’
Looked at from a different perspective, few ‘Crown Prosecutors’ shall be put on notice, that such practice not only speaks to ‘Travesty of Justice,’ but also to ‘Vain Glory’ [KJV: Philippians 2:3]. Crown Prosecutors saw the ‘Self-Evident Truth’ that the seriousness of the injuries sustained, resulted in the unlawful and tragic death. In the instant Case, ‘Crown Prosecutors shall not deny that there was overwhelming evidence of ‘Malice’ against the deceased. It was obvious that the multiplicity of stab wounds, mercilessly inflicted upon the person of ‘Shayne ‘Washes’ James,’ were intended kill.’
Adding to the miseries of his grief-stricken mother, ‘an Aborted Murder Trial’ resulted in the unthinkable. Public Prosecutors, and by extension the ‘High Court of Justice,’ appeared to have made ‘Mockery of Justice.’ This has prompted the ‘Fundamental Question;’ ‘Why would; (i) ‘A competent and astute Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP); (ii) A properly directed Jury; and (iii) A learned, efficient and competent Judge not believe that the ‘Three Knife-Wielding Accused’ had ‘No Intention to Kill?’ Consequent upon the ‘Fate’ suffered in the ‘Shane ‘Watches’ James,’ the trial of those indicted for the ‘Murder’ of the former Customs officer ‘Nigel Christian’ [Observer July 7, 2021], shall suffer no ‘Non-Prosecutorial Consequences’ for ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas.’
When the ‘Knife-wielding Killers,’ were indicted for ‘Murder,’ they were to face ‘Trial by Jury.’ Three youth viciously stabbed her son, ‘Shayne ‘Watches’ James’ [Barbados Today: May 2015]. The knife-wielding killers have been identified as; (i) ‘Ryan ‘Chargie’ Samuel [Liberta]; (ii) Dane ‘Blinga’ Hart [Seaview Farm]; and (iii) Lenroy ‘Ramone’ Black [New Street: St. Johns]. Consequent upon the vicious and brutal knife attack, ‘Watches’ succumbed to the gravity of the injuries inflicted with ‘Common Design,’ upon his person [May 7, 2015]. That which the concept ‘Justice’ suggests, the peaceful and law-abiding citizens see them as the cause of much unease, discontent and dissatisfaction.
The apparent manipulative and/or exploitative behavior of ‘Crown Prosecutors,’ speaks to a seemingly gradually developing malignant practice. It has been seen as rapidly overtaking the ‘Halls of Criminal Justice’ across the ‘Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).’ Suffice to say, it seems bad for the ‘Administration of Justice.’ Lest ‘Travesties’ are allowed to fester or committed in the face of the Court, void of judicial sanctions, then it will be seen that the ‘Blindfold of Justice’ has been completely removed. This much is owed to those that have been grievously and criminally victimized. Properly diagnosed, there shall be little doubt that, though not clinically, criminal ‘Trial Judges’ are well positioned to employ, and use ‘Judicial Radiation’ to effectively burn it out. This much is owed to people crying out for ‘Justice.’
JUDICIALLY FIXED TRIALS
Moreover, this much is expected by members of the wider society from Judges like those that adjudicate in ‘Criminal Trials.’ This much shall reflect the institutionalized role, functions and responsibility of the Judiciary in helping to reduce societal lawlessness and protecting society. This shall not be considered an insight, but simply an observation. Consequent upon such, however, ‘Criminal Trial Judges’ may wish to apprise ‘Crown Prosecutors’ that criminal indictments that have been given ‘Judicially Fixed Trials,’ they shall be so tried. Conversely, shall there be other legal and reasonable positions taken, there shall be appropriate ‘Discontinuance Orders,’ authoritatively Fiat by the ‘DPP’ for discontinuation [ANU: CO: 1981: Section 88 (1) (c)].
JUSTICE IS BLIND
If anyone believes that ‘Justice is Blind,’ one may wish to look at the graphic gracing Nuffield Burnette’s Book ‘…’ One should see the ‘Blindfold’ was lifted over the right eye. This gives ‘Justice’ a view of seeing just who is are in quest of it. As the idiom suggests, ‘Justice’ shall not see anyone that is searching for it. Given its meaning and intention, the concept shall neither know of the societal status, class, creed, color; or financial positions of those that have been ‘Criminally Victimized.’ Those that shall really keep the ‘Blindfold’ in place, covering both eyes, are ‘Administrators of Justice.’ Not infrequently, dissatisfied victims of crimes, were brought to tears, either by grievous and ‘Selective Prosecutorial Decisions’ or ‘Perverse Court Decisions.’ These are the officials that often allows ‘Justice’ to see what it should not see.
The Attorneys that only practice in a ‘Civil Jurisdiction,’ shall avoid embarrassment in attempting to venture upon a practice within the ‘Criminal Jurisdictional Courts.’ Lack of knowledge of ‘Criminal Evidence and Procedure,’ they could experience the heat of ‘Judicial Fire.’ Though running a risk, that may not necessarily be as ‘Solemn’ as ‘Baptism in the Jordan River’ or one in ‘Unholy Ghost Fire,’ it can be un-contradictorily said; ‘Certainly the ‘Judicial Consciences’ of ‘Their Lordship and Ladyship, Justices Colin Williams and Ann-Marie Smith,’ seems judicially clear. These eminent jurists, would have seen the ‘Good; Bad; Ugly; and the Indifferent. They appear to have the capacity to make a difference as to how the ‘Criminal Justice System’ shall function in dispensing ‘Criminal Justice.’
ABORTING MURDER TRIALS
The decision by ‘Crown Prosecutors’ not to prosecute some indicted murderers, have not only been seen by an overwhelming majority of the citizenry, as offending the administration of justice, but also their ‘State of Mind’ and ‘Sense of Security.’ These ‘State Prosecutors’ are in fact; (a) ‘Interfering with the administration and dispensation of Justice; and (b) Exhibiting a ‘Fixated Endeavor’ in maintaining a personal record of prosecutorial success.’ Looked at from a particular perspective, ‘Aborting Jury Trials for Murder,’ as in the case of ‘Illegal Abortions’ of human fetuses, classified as a crime, so too shall it be for those that have neglected their prosecutorial duties.
PERVERTED COURSE OF JUSTICE
It will have been seen that when ‘Crown Prosecutors’ ill-advisedly accepted the ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea,’ they had enabled the ‘His Lordship, Justice Stanley John’ to set three ‘Cold-blooded killers Free.’ Adding judicial insult to the ‘DPP and Watches Family,’ they walked away without the imposition of punishment commensurate with the heinous crime of ‘Murder.’ They now know that their ‘Philosophical Practice,’ not only place the ‘Prosecution Service,’ under intense public scrutiny, but add to the unending and enduring misery to ‘Watches Family’ and ‘Seaview Farm community.’ Whether or not there were reasons of obscurity, a reasonable inference appears capable of being drawn that ‘Crown Prosecutors,’ calculatedly ‘Perverted the Course of Justice.’
This was made self-evident when two of the three killers were; (a) ‘Committed to stand trial at the Criminal Assizes; and (b) Prosecutorally indicted for ‘Trial by Jury.’ The bereaved family and the community, have not only found the Prosecutors guilty of reckless abandon, but also ‘Gross Prosecutorial Negligence.’ They, apparently, without reasonable excuse and/or justification, neglected their ‘Public Duty,’ by accepting a ‘Defence offer of a ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea.’ Such apparent ill-advised acceptance necessarily suggested that the ‘Public Prosecutors’ had in fact, allowed two vicious knife-wielding murderers to ‘Get away with Murder. Though indicted for ‘Murder,’ two accused; (i) ‘Dane ‘Blinga’ Hart;’ and (ii) Leroy ‘Ramone,’ Black’ were never put on trial by a ‘Jury of their Peers.’
PROSECUTORIAL COURSE OF JUSTICE
Thus, given the ‘Blindfolded Eyes of Justice,’ it seems prosecutorally improper for; (i) ‘Crown Prosecutors; (ii) Accused; and (ii) Defence Attorneys’ to disguisedly show a ‘Connivance’ of a ‘Contemptuous Nature’ to railroad the ‘Prosecutorial Course of Justice.’ Then having Judges judicially formalizing such ‘connivance,’ by accepting ‘Brief Facts’ for ‘Manslaughter,’ clearly makes the proceedings a farce. The prosecutorial process allows for ‘Crown Prosecutors’ to prove that which they have alleged and indicted accused persons for. In the instant case, it could never be prosecutorally and judicially be shown that ‘Two Murder-Accused’ had been; (a) ‘Indicted for ‘Manslaughter; and (b) That a Jury had returned a verdict for ‘Manslaughter.’ Further, (c) ‘Upon ‘Summation of the Evidence;’ (d) Giving of proper legal directions; and (e)
Before retirement in consideration of a verdict, ‘Trial Judges’ shall instruct them that in their deliberations and considerations, the ‘FACTS’ as presented in the evidence, shall be rationally and strictly applied to the ‘LAW,’ as explained to them in the trial. When ‘Crown Prosecutors’ held the view that there was ‘Reasonable prospect of conviction,’ They are saying that there is ‘Preponderance of Evidence,’ to engage the attention of a Jury. Consequent upon which ‘Indictments for Murder’ are filed. When they accepted ‘Two Manslaughter Guilty Pleas,’ these offended human sensibilities, and speaks clearly to ‘Selective Prosecutions.’ The mantra of all ‘Directors of Public Prosecutions,’ is to ‘Bring to Trial’ those they have indicted, be they individually or jointly.
MANIFESTATIONS OF JUSTICE
From this perspective, all accused persons shall be tried only for that which they have been committed and indicted. There has never been any indictment for ‘Manslaughter.’ While it has often been misunderstood, in a trial for ‘Murder,’ ‘Manslaughter’ has been a homicide that provides Juries with ‘an Alternative Verdict.’ It shall not be said that the ‘Vast Majority’ of legal scholars had missed the instructional sessions on the ‘Manifestation of Justice.’ Even so, it could never be denied that a ‘Small Minority’ may have lacked comprehension of the ‘Legal Maxim.’ For the guidance of potential ‘Administrators of Justice,’ they would have been lectured that; ‘Justice must not only be done, but manifestly appear to have been done.’ This has been the dictum and laid down ‘Practice Direction,’ by the then ‘Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Hewart’ [1924: Rex v Essex: 1 KB: 256].
That which has been seen as trending has been ‘Prosecutorial Shortcuts.’ It appears obvious that either for expediency, ‘Crown Prosecutors’ have been given liberty to ignore any ‘Judicial Fixture of Trials for Murder.’ Moreover, ‘Administrators of Justice,’ seems happy in accepting the opportunity provided by ‘Crown Prosecutors’ who seemingly lazily accept offers of ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas.’ There may be nothing more welcoming than retiring either to their Chambers or residence to be indulged in something mind-settling, such as a hot cup of coffee, or a social drink of ‘Cognac or Whisky.’ Seemingly, once indicted murder-accused accused persons offer and enter a ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas,’ then without ‘Trial by Jury,’ they can get away with ‘Murder.’
PREGANT WITH SUSPICIONS
Constantly being criminally victimized and left dissatisfied with the ‘Criminal Justice System and the Judiciary,’ every so often, victims have been forced to express disgust and open dissent. The citizenry, conscious of the attitude of some ‘Supreme Court Justices,’ have often seemed to be more concerned about this particular institution, than of the criminal acts perpetrated against them. The same appears true for every ‘Bereaved Family.’ Then added to their miseries and mental agony, have been adverse public perceptions of prosecutorial or non-prosecutorial decisions, that were often reasonably suspected to have been ‘Pregnant with Suspicions.’
For this reason, no ‘Administrator of Justice,’ needs no reminder of their adjudicating responsibilities. Still, they hall be mindful, and accordingly offer to guide those with ‘Prosecutorial Deficiencies.’ Those so observed shall be told that ‘Facts Taking’ for offers of ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas,’ shall not be seen as dispensing with ‘Murder Trial by Juries.’ They shall also know that this has now been seen as a non-prosecutorial practice, that has the effect of provoking disquiet among law-abiding citizens, and offers no value to the ‘Administration of Justice.’ Moreover, they shall know that such practice, brings no comfort, neither to the ‘Court,’ nor to the bereaved and grieving families.
BEACON OF HOPE – HORROR
At this juncture, lest it be misconstrued, it shall be said that neither ‘Contempt’ nor, disrespect was intended to the ‘Judiciary.’ Besides, there continues to be nothing, but high esteem for the ‘Justices.’ Readers shall know that the overwhelming majority, are presumed to be of high repute, above reproach, and seems resolute, independent, fair and impartial. It shall also be presumed that in the role and functions as ‘Administrators of Justice,’ they shall not only be seen as dispensing justice, but also endeavoring to uphold the ‘Rule of Law.’ However, even as the ‘Supreme Judicial Officer’ for the ‘OECS,’ continue to implore, if not impress upon ‘Administrators of Justice’ to protect and project the ‘Judiciary and Courts’ as the ‘Beacon of Hope,’ some judicial officers continue to project these institutions as ‘Places of Horror.’
Few ‘Administrators of Justice’ seemed to appreciate the legal term ‘Penal Servitude.’ Most seemed consumed with the clearly ludicrous ‘Sentencing Guidelines.’ Many seemed to have accepted that it has removed all discretionary powers, inherent in the judicial position. Consequent upon which, not that a small timid minority continues to show insensitivity to the feeling of bereaved families, but also almost utter disregard to ‘Statutory-provided penalty for ‘Murder.’ In fact, the citizenry, in private conversations, believe that this minority would better serve the interest of global ‘Human Rights Organizations’, such as ‘Amnesty International and ‘Human Rights Watch.’ Still, there are people that believe that some ‘Justices’ would make better ‘Defence Attorneys’ than of their current positions of ‘Administrators of Justice.’
CRIME OF MURDER
Prosecutorally, as practiced in most nations of the Commonwealth, for evidential purposes, the judicially-recognized and commonly used definition for ‘Murder’ has been; ‘When a person of sound memory and discretion unlawfully kills any reasonable creature in being, and under the ‘Queen’s/King’s Peace,’ with malice aforethought, either; (a) ‘Expressed; or (b) Implied’ [Police Promotion Handbook: Criminal Law: P73]. As it affects the ‘Criminal Element-Malice,’ and that which constitutes the ‘Crime of Murder,’ this element speaks to the ‘Existence of a design or intention to kill.’ This was often expressed by words, and thus, suggests the criminal element of ‘Premeditation.’
Therefore, ‘Crown Prosecutors’ shall be mindful, and always endeavor to protect the integrity of the office. Equally as important, is the public view of their reputation for ‘prosecutorial fairness, as opposed to building egos on prosecutorial success. They shall regard their prosecutorial assignments, not only as the reposing of confidence in their ability by officialdom, but most fittingly, an endorsement and as a mark of ‘Public Trust’ in the office of ‘DPP.’ Given the ‘Grievous Travesty’ that occurred in the ‘Aborted Jury Trial in the ‘Shayne ‘Watches’ James’ Murder Case,’ it begs the question: ‘Will a future ‘Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP),’ continue with such grievous ‘Non-Prosecutorial Philosophy for Manslaughter Guilty Pleas?’
JURIES OF PEERS
Those harboring such perceptions have viewed the situation as being dangerous to the administration of justice. Then there were those harboring thoughts of being unfairly treated. These appear not to be evident when accused persons were being tried by ‘Juries of their Peers.’ Consequent upon which, and rightly or wrongly, public criticisms are usually fierce and punishingly distressing. They are usually directed against; (i) ‘Trial Judges for irrational rulings; (ii) The Judiciary for seemingly being exploitable; (iii) Criminal Justice System for apparent tardiness; and not the least; (iv) The DPP for apparent ‘Selective Prosecutorial Policy.’
DPP: CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS
As it relates to this jurisdiction and the position of ‘Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the (a) ‘Duties and Responsibilities; (b) Role; (c) Functions; (d) Power; and (e) Authority’ have been clearly defined. Among these is a power to; ‘Institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person in any case in which he considers proper to do so’ [ANU: CO: 1981: Section 88]. Though, an exercisable ‘Constitutional Power,’ with the operative words ‘Considers proper to do so,’ as far as ‘Public Prosecutions’ are concerned, this appears to be a most ‘Dangerous Clause’ to have been inserted in a ‘DPP’s Functions.’ Unfortunately, should it involve ‘Buses and Buggies; Transport and Boards,’ a ‘DPP’ runs the risk of being seen as being environmentally influenced, as opposed to that which he may ‘Consider Proper’ or in the public interest.
Though constantly been subject to public and official scrutiny, the ‘DPP’ is neither guided by the dictates of those assigned ‘Ministerial Portfolios,’ nor of other persons within the society. Even so, no legal or administrative impediments exist for ‘Principal Legal Adviser’ to the Government not to express his displeasure or dissatisfaction over certain vexing ‘Non-Trial Decisions.’ Notwithstanding, a ‘DPP’ with an independence of mind, may have no difficulty consider what is in the best interest of the public than of what he may ‘Professionally Consider Proper.’ Constitutionally, there are provisions for the delegation of ‘Prosecutorial Authority,’ within and without the office. Such power is exercisable only by the office holder.’
The inordinate and long delayed controversial ‘Bus Case’ and many others, self-evidently and irrefutably helps to make the point. Framers of the ‘Constitution Order-1981’ [Antigua and Barbuda],’ anticipated that members of sitting administrations may wish to exploit the ‘Director of Public Prosecutions.’ They anticipated that attempts will also be made by influential members of society in seeking to manipulate that office. Holders of such position and occupiers of such office shall know that it is one that speaks to ‘Public Trust.’ They shall also know that which has always been under public scrutiny has been ‘Professional Ethics.’ Consequently, framers carefully and prudently inserted this functional Clause.
Such states; ‘The powers conferred on the Director of Public Prosecutions, shall be vested in him, to the exclusion of any other person or authority’ [ANU: CO: 1981: Section 88 (2)]. Be that as it may, while docility and stupidity, were invariably seem to get the better part of ‘Prosecutorial Judgement. That which shall be understood, is that all ‘OECS Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPP),’ are ‘Constitutionally Insulated’ from the ‘Executive Arm of Government [Section 88 (5)],’ the political directorate and members of the wider society. It has been shared views that decisions not to proceed to criminal trials were often not seen as reflective of the primary function of ‘Public Prosecutors.’ When so perceives, it brings little prosecutorial satisfaction to the citizenry, as public confidence often waned.
PLEAS OF GUILTY
As contained in the ‘Constitution Order,’ it provides two optional ‘Courses of Action.’ Accused persons may elect to ‘Full Trials,’ or may opt for, and enter ‘Pleas of Guilty.’ Irrespective of the criminal offence charged and indicted, they reserve such right. Judges are not necessarily concerned with that which was pre-arranged between ‘Crown Prosecutors; Accused and Defence Attorneys.’ In fact, until tried and sentence to imprisonment, none may legally claim to have been incarcerated, having been convicted of ‘Murder or Manslaughter’ [ANU: OAPA]. For avoidance of doubt, the ‘Act’ states: (i) ‘Upon every conviction for ‘Murder’ the Court shall pronounce of death.’
Today’s Courts continue to guide themselves by the; (a) ‘Earl Pratt and Ivan Morgan Case’ [Jamaica]. The ‘London Privy Council’ has ruled that it is ‘Cruel and inhumane treatment and illegal to keep condemned prisoners on ‘Death Row’ for more than five years’ [JCPC: 1993]. Then there has been the judicially-followed and clearly injurious ‘Practice Directions.’ It contained established ‘Sentencing Guidelines,’ that seems pregnant with ‘Guilty Plea Inducements’ [ECSC]. There are law-abiding citizens who have viewed these ‘Guidelines’ as counterproductive to acceptable societal behavior and effective ‘Rule of Law.’
It should be seen as a serious omission if reference was not made of ‘Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh.’ Within this jurisdiction, had she not refused an application for ‘Deportation Order’ for two ‘Manslaughter Guilty Pleas’ CARICOM nationals, ‘Travesty of Justice’ will have occurred. Moreover, ‘Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Anthony Armstrong’ may not have positioned to file a ‘Criminal Appeal’ against ‘His Lordship, Justice Stanley John’s seemingly ill-considered non-imposed ‘Custodial Sentence.’ Given this development, bereaved, grieving and distraught families, as well as the citizenry, shudder to think what may transpire when other murder indictments are given ‘Fixtures for Trials’ of those that continue to languish in less-than-ideal conditions on ‘Lengthy Bail or Jail Remand.’
The killings to be considered, ‘Murder or Manslaughter,’ have their own distinguishing features. For instance; in the case of ‘Murder,’ the most critical ‘Evidential Elements’ include (i) ‘Premeditation-Mens Rea; State of, or Guilty Mind; (ii) Malice Aforethought.’ This speaks of, and shall show an ‘Intention to kill.’ This may not necessarily be known to the deceased victim prior to the killing. However, that which might be borne out in evidence at trial are; (a) ‘’That it was ‘Expressed; and (b) From the deadly act, ‘Implied.’ On trial for ‘Murder,’ the ‘Alternative Verdict of Manslaughter,’ is neither the calling for; (i) ‘Accused persons on trial: (ii) Defence Attorneys: (iii) Crown Prosecutors; nor (iv) ‘Trial Judges.’ Such determination resides ‘Only with Juries.
Preparing themselves for the vicious and deadly ‘Planned Knife Attack on the Deceased,’ two ‘Murder-co-conspirators’ traveled from the cardinal points; ‘West and South.’ They seemingly joined the third in the ‘East.’ If such were not showing ‘Public Prosecutors’ and the ‘Trial Judge’ a clear ‘Intent to Kill,’ then what is? When the ‘Prosecution was offered the enticeable and irrefusable ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea,’ they may have good reasons to believe that they were not only served ‘3 Bottles of Cognac,’ but also ‘3 Platters with Lobster.’ Still hurting inside, and through teary eyes, the aggrieved mother, not only see the ‘Manslaughter Guilty Plea’ as ‘Lunacy.’ Moreover, she viewed such as ‘Travesty by the Judiciary.’ Both ‘Crown Prosecutors and Adjudicators had not considered that before ‘Ramone’ could say ‘Blinga,’ and before ‘Blinga’ could say ‘Black,’ ‘Watches’ ‘Chargie’ had ‘Watches’ lying motionless on his back.’ He could run no more; Talk no more; Hear and see no more. Witnessing her son’s ordeal, left his helpless and defenceless mother ‘Maudlyn James’ terrified and traumatized. She had witnessed that which only a few mothers, in their lifetime, may have witnessed. ***
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