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Oct 21, 2019

D.P.P.’s Application to Appeal Calaney Flowers’ Acquittal Dismissed

Calaney Flowers

The Court of Appeals this morning handed down a ruling in favour of Calaney Flowers, who in 2017, was acquitted of the murder of her ex-boyfriend Lyndon Morrison. The application for leave to appeal was brought by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution on the grounds that the findings of the trial judge, now-retired Justice Troadio Gonzalez, were unreasonable. Flowers was accused of killing Morrison in August 2012 when she allegedly rear-ended the motorcycle that Morrison and his girlfriend were riding while on Freetown Road, Belize City. Morrison was flung to his death and his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa, was seriously injured. Having spent years behind bars awaiting trial, and then nine months for Justice Gonzalez to rule, Flowers was released after being acquitted. She traveled to the U.S., but had to return after papers were filed by the D.P.P. Office on notice of appeal. The application was heard this morning and according to Flowers’ attorney Anthony Sylvestre, the D.P.P. does not have the right to appeal an acquittal where there was a full trial.

 

Anthony Sylvestre

Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney for Calaney Flowers

“There was a full trial so the judge looked at all the evidence, the witnesses and determined the reliability and believability of the witnesses and at the end of the day they said, I find you not guilty because I believe this witness as opposed to that witness. That has never been a type of acquittal that the D.P.P. could throw out or our legal system could appeal. That point was made. You were in court and you saw the justices of appeal and the president they took the point and they decided in our favor. They are saying the judge considered the evidence, everything, they felt that the decision nonetheless, in their view, unreasonable. But as was pointed out by the court clearly at this point in our history it would appear that there needs legislative amendment to address the situation where at the end of the trial the prosecution may believe that well you know we do not agree with the decision of the judge and we would want to have such a right. It is equivalent to a situation where a person was charged before a jury and the jury found the person not guilty after considering the evidence. Historically, the D.P.P. couldn’t appeal that. Similarly that obtains even on a non-jury trial so that were that to change there needs to be legislative changes.” 


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