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Vybz Kartel retrial hearing continues on day 2

A report from Radio Jamaica's legal analyst Dionne Jackson Miller
 
The Court of Appeal hearing to decide if Vybz Kartel and three other men should be retried for murder continued Tuesday morning with a submission from defence attorney John Clarke.
 
Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer; Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell; Kahira Jones; and Andre St. John were convicted in March 2014 for the murder Clive 'Lizard' Williams and sentenced to life in prison a month later.
 
But on March 14 this year - ten years later - the UK-based Privy Council overturned the convictions on the grounds of juror misconduct and sent the matter back to Jamaica's Court of Appeal for it to decide whether the murder case should be retried. 
 
At Tuesday's hearing in the Court of Appeal, Mr. Clarke raised the issue of delay as one factor the court will have to look at in deciding if a retrial will be in the interest of justice. 
 
He pointed out that this appeal has so far taken 10 years. But when he said that the Privy Council delivered its ruling only one month after it finished hearing the matter, he upset presiding Judge Marva McDonald-Bishop, who suggested that the reference to the Privy Council was unfair. 
 
She said there had been multiple issues raised when this case came before the local Court of Appeal, which all had to be dealt with. 
 
On the other hand, the Privy Council, she said, decided to focus on only one narrow issue - the matter of juror misconduct. 
 
Even so, it was pointed out that the Privy Council had the matter for three years and the appellants had to apply for an expedited hearing. 
 
The judge also said people need to understand that the local Court of Appeal has ordered retrials before, based on juror misconduct. 
 
She said the local courts do not have a microphone to respond to public opinion.
 


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