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Apr 5, 2011

Preventative Detention and Trial by Judge not Jury

While the Heritage Bank robbery was taking place, Cabinet was meeting in Belmopan on crime and security issues. Late this evening, Cabinet released a briefing on today’s sitting. Cabinet discussed Prime Minister Dean Barrow proposed legislation following the murderous weekend, in which four persons were killed, including two Chinese grocers. On Monday, the Prime Minister first announced at a press conference that he will be seeking support of Cabinet for two major and controversial legislative changes: trial without jury and preventative detention. According to the release Cabinet agreed to “introduce a Bill in the House of Representative proposing constitutional changes for Preventive Detention, subject to the appropriate safeguards.” It also agreed to present legislation for the “provision of Trial by Judge alone in certain limited cases and circumstances and to propose amendments to the law to preserve the anonymity of witnesses in gang-related cases.” It means that in approved cases, defendants will no longer be judged by a jury of their peers. No further information was available, and we have not been able to find any similar legislation for criminal cases in other Commonwealth jurisdictions. As for the proposed preventative detention legislation, the government had backed off from that two years ago following fierce opposition because the thinking was that the intended targets would be males that live in specific neighborhoods and it is a measure that can be abused by authorities. Both measures are expected to be hotly debated in the public domain as well as by organizations such as the Bar Association. The release made no mention of the PM’s proposal to re-institute capital punishment for murder convictions which while is still legal has not been effected since 1985 when Kent Bowers was hung for the murder of Robert Codd.

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12 Responses for “Preventative Detention and Trial by Judge not Jury”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    How many lawyers do these fools have to kill or try to kill before they cut the BS. Standing in front of a camera spewing unintelligible BS about what the laws will do to the common man would be more believable if these holes were doing pro bono work for innocent underprivileged youths who were singing too loud & out of tune in church & were arrested on their way from feeding old ladies.

  2. angry man from cayo says:

    scotland has the same trial without jury thing as well as more than half the commonwealth. Its only our small caribbean islands and countries and canada which use the jury system. The funny thing is that bekize is too small 4 the jury thing 2 be effective everybody know eveybody.

  3. danny boy says:

    channel 5 hit the nail on he head. we don’t want jury trisal for murderers and killers becuase jury trial allows them to be judged BY A JURY OF THEIR PEERS! nuff said. we always complain dat killers a re walking free. We blame the DPP and di judge. BUT IT IS THIS SAME JURY PEOPLE WHO SAY NOT GUILTY AND THEY ARE THE SAME ONES WHO EVERY DAY YOU HERE THEM COMPLAINING WHEN A LOVED ONE IS KILLED; THEY START BAWLING BOUT KILLERS ARE WALKING FREE WEN DEH SAME ONE TELL DI JUDGE NO GUILTY.
    As an end note I would like to say that just because the majority of the Commonwealth or whoever thinks jury trial is right and good doesnt mean that they are correct. amy be it means that a majority if the comonwealth are wrong. or it could mean that jury systems works well for them because they have large populations. another thing is that i was at a murder trial 4 one of my friends who was killed about 7 years ago. i tell u i was suprised at the type of people they had as a jury. lone lee19-25 year olds weh nuh have any job or finish highschool. only three of them were your average working person. the type of person who you would not fear that they would be stupid enough to say not guilty when some one is guilty.and u guessed it the killer walked because those lee pikni jurors are the same type of people who live in bad neighbourhoods and complain when their loved ones are killed but at the same time are more likely to glorify criminals or support them in some indirect way. THIS DA IT BELIZE TEK THE TRIAL WITHOUT JURY 4 MURDER OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE. unlike a jury di judge wa give reasons why some one is guilty or not guilty and his reasons wa have to deh inna writing so dat wen di appeal start the appeal judges wa know where he went wwrong. Whereas a jury no need fi give any reasons. so which one do you prefer.

  4. danny boy says:

    channel 5 hit the nail on he head. we don’t want jury trisal for murderers and killers becuase jury trial allows them to be judged BY A JURY OF THEIR PEERS! nuff said. we always complain dat killers a re walking free. We blame the DPP and di judge. BUT IT IS THIS SAME JURY PEOPLE WHO SAY NOT GUILTY AND THEY ARE THE SAME ONES WHO EVERY DAY YOU HERE THEM COMPLAINING WHEN A LOVED ONE IS KILLED; THEY START BAWLING BOUT KILLERS ARE WALKING FREE WEN DEH SAME ONE TELL DI JUDGE NO GUILTY.
    As an end note I would like to say that just because the majority of the Commonwealth or whoever thinks jury trial is right and good doesnt mean that they are correct. amy be it means that a majority if the comonwealth are wrong. or it could mean that jury systems works well for them because they have large populations. another thing is that i was at a murder trial 4 one of my friends who was killed about 7 years ago. i tell u i was suprised at the type of people they had as a jury. lone lee19-25 year olds weh nuh have any job or finish highschool. only three of them were your average working person. the type of person who you would not fear that they would be stupid enough to say not guilty when some one is guilty.and u guessed it the killer walked because those lee pikni jurors are the same type of people who live in bad neighbourhoods and complain when their loved ones are killed but at the same time are more likely to glorify criminals or support them in some indirect way. THIS DA IT BELIZE TEK THE TRIAL WITHOUT JURY for MURDER OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE. unlike a jury di judge wa give reasons why some one is guilty or not guilty and his reasons wa have to deh inna writing so dat wen di appeal start the appeal judges wa know where he went wwrong. Whereas a jury no need fi give any reasons. so which one do you prefer.

  5. Mr Bigga Badda says:

    please Mr Briceno support the trial without jury for killers and murders. too many killers are walking free. I beg u sir because u are my party leader and my area rep.

  6. Sugar says:

    We don’t need more laws….we jsimply have to implement at least half of those we already have.

  7. Justice says:

    This is a first! It is the first time I agree with Barrow. Trial without jury for gang related cases. We still have to be mindful of the fact that the judge might be threatened and thus sentencing might not be fair in order to protect himself or his family.

    The other item that needs addressing is to hang them once that is their sentence. Do not give time for appeals etc as that waste taxpayers money and these worthless individuals get to live.

    The Bar Association would not retaliate if it were their family memebers that are being killed.

  8. enuff mein! says:

    what is teh point of a law, if theer is no enforcement???????????????? i remember a few weeks ago police saying they gonna crack down on cyclists without proper equipment, who are riding 2/3 on a bike and who are riding against the flow of traffic…….i dare anyone reading this to look outside onto the street for 3 mins, see how many offenders you find. its a pathetic joke the police department has become. you know howmany times i say to myself that id rather just knock down those cyclists who ride their bikes agaiunst teh flow of traffic because they are in the wrong (eitehr i coodnt help but squeeze in a tight spot trying to navigate between freetown road and barrack road and i cant help but clip a cyclist, or im just so fed up with no one giving any regard for the laws of the country.) but if i knock down a cyclist, im the one who will get charged even tho teh cyclist was in the wrong. a sad state our country is in when i can accidentally knock down a cyclist and i get x amount of years for it, but if i hold a gun to someone’s head and pull the trigger i can get off scott free.

  9. Do it right says:

    I agree with the measures that the PM want to implement especially eliminating the jury system bc that was a bunch of bull. Belize too small and everyone knows everyone. Many times the killers friends are right on the jury so they walk free. This will actually let the judges do what they are paid to do, whcih is make the decision and bestow the penalties. On another note, i think that the prison needs to be moved to an island so that it is harder for them to escape and really have them far from the mainland. This along with corporal punishment should be implemented on these criminals. We need to sntill fear into these criminals so that they really think twice about committing a crime.

  10. islander says:

    Trial without Jury sounds excellent to me…..PREVENTATIVE DETENTION IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL… I would have to see the specific wording in order to draw a conclusion weather i support it or not.

  11. Dissapointed UDP says:

    I am for it, Belize now has the highest murder rate in the world!!!!!!! do the math with Belize district numbers only.. HIGHEST MURDER RATE IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Dissapointed UDP says:

    Tourism, foreign investment, entertainment industry, (restaurants,clubs, discoes), all depend on the crime situation in a city. there is no way we are going to come out of economic depression if we do not solve this crime issue. the US will rebound but they will invest in Panama and Costa Rica, cruise tourist will go else where. Beleive me no american thinks Blue Hole or Altun Ha is worth dying for..wake up Belize lets not get sidetracked by this racism BS if we don’t solve it we all go down…..

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