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Aug 1, 2011

Trial without Jury now a reality

Dean Barrow

Last week, the Government announced it was not proceeding to enact the preventative detention measures that had been widely criticized and rejected by the public. That proposed initiative required a constitutional amendment unlike another anti-crime measure that was introduced at the same time in the House in May. The Prime Minister today penned his signature to Orders to effect the Indictable Procedure (Amendment) Act and the Juries (Amendment) Act.  Beginning today, the court will now hear murder related cases without a jury, it means that henceforth at the supreme court, the judges will be both judge and jury in cases where persons are on trial for murder, attempted murder, abetment of murder or conspiracy to commit  murder. It is first time that non-jury trials will be carried out in Belize and the government says these types of trials will reduce the duration of cases and will save valuable time for judges and jurors.  The law also allows the prosecution to apply for trial without a jury where there is a danger of jury and witnesses tampering or where the trial is likely to be burdensome to the jury. Another instance is where an accused person is of the view that because of pre-trial publicity, he is unlikely to have a fair trial.

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12 Responses for “Trial without Jury now a reality”

  1. Liberty and Freedom says:

    The Magna Carta of 1215 secured trial by jury. Twelve men (women) make a decision or examine findings of fact which are then applied by a judge. Yes, people on a jury in Belize have been intimidated by gang members and other criminals that have not been incarcerated. How can one person be unbiased or act like God in judgement of another? Can that person be swayed by money or political influence? With twelve jurors, they examination of facts, especially in a capital case (like murder), become critical. Another approach would be a panel of three judges to ascertain fact in capital cases.

  2. Robert2 says:

    In the U.S. where people have access to such things as DNA and forensic technology, hundreds of men have been found to be wrongly imprisoned. Most of these were African American or Hispanic and the reason they were allowed to take DNA tests was because some group or individual who could afford to pay for such tests believed in their cause. Oh Belize, please turn this around. The door will now be open for judges with political beliefs or ties to imprison those citizens who they deem to be their opponents. Innocent until proven (that’s the key word, PROVEN) guilty is a hallmark of democracy. The reason for juries is that citizens may know what goes on behind closed doors and that people may be judged by their peers. Many judges are elitists, not peers.

  3. Rod says:

    This is one sick man he needs to go and go now out barrow out guan guan before I stone you with mi shoes.

  4. Stygian says:

    I support this 100% too long have these degenerates been getting off because of intimidation tactics. THIS IS BELIZE NOT AMERICA. Hopefully we can increase that 10% conviction rate now.

  5. Do it right says:

    I support this move 100% as well. Too many of these criminals have been getting off because of threats to the jurors. We are trying to get these criminals off the streets and in Belize the jury system is not working bc the case is always biased due to the fact that Belize is a small country and everyone knows everyone. This a good step in the right direction and am awaiting for them to enact the amendment where the witness’ statements will be allowed as evidence as well thus eliminating the witnesses having to face the accused.

  6. Roy Yates says:

    The good old adage is at work: that for every action there is equal or greater force of reaction. Surely something has to be done to rope in these losers who thinks that their mistguided ways must dictate how society function. However I would like to the the three Judges procedure.

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    The problem as it relates to the crime situation in Belize has nothing to do with trial by jury or Judge.The problem has to do with witness or witnesses intimidation and the lock of evidence to convict.As a result i don’t know why such law was implimented.

  8. Islander says:

    Soon Dean Barrow will pass a law ABOVE AND BEYOND the Constitution banning the House or Representatives and MAKE HIMSELF LONE DICTATOR…

    Where is the BDF when all this raping of the constitution is happening? The BDF needs to pull off a Honduras and they need to do it fast.

  9. Indian Woman says:

    Folks…… The death penalty solves a lot. in addition to this law, the Death penalty would make a great difference in Belize. We need to put these animals to death. Implement it. This is really incredible how educated people play games with their own lives. These criminals mean business. They will kill you. They will murder you and your family. Yet we play games with them. INCREDIBLE!!

  10. Fer D Lance says:

    Were has the love thy nieghbour as thy self commandent gone ? do no evil , fear no evil . We are losing our country to the bad elements and need to get our act together whatever it takes , before it’s too late. Lets preserve the jewel for future generations , they’ll thank us for it .

  11. reatph says:

    IT IS NOW TIME FOR US TO RISE UP AND CHASE THE MAD MAN AND HIS HENCH MEN AND WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES OUT OF POWER AND OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

    PEACE

  12. reatph says:

    IT IS NOW TIME FOR US TO UNITE AND RISE UP AND CHASE THIS MADMAN AND HIS HENCH MEN AND WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES OUT OF POWER AND OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

    PEACE

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