Prolonged PI saw convicted criminal being compensated

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Bryan Skytes

A convicted criminal was ordered to be compensated by the Chief Justice in Jamaica as a result of his languishing in jail for over four years awaiting the conclusion of the Preliminary Inquiry into a charge of murder against him.

According to a Jamaica Gleaner report, Marvin Cameron, who has convictions for illegal possession of firearm, shooting with intent, and possession of stolen goods, was arrested and charged with murder in March 2013 after police investigators alleged that the owner of a motor car he had sold turned up dead.

The Chief Justice, Bryan Skyes along with Justice Kirk Anderson, and Justice David Fraser ruled that the Constitutional Court has ruled that a convicted criminal had his constitutional right to a trial within a reasonable time violated.

As a consequence the court, in a 2-1 decision, has ordered the State to pay damages to Cameron as compensation and has ordered that the preliminary enquiry into the murder charge must be completed by May 30 and a decision taken as to whether he should stand trial in the circuit court.

“Failing which, any trial of the claimant (Cameron) on the charges on which he is currently before the parish court shall be stayed,” the Chief Justice and Judges ordered in their decision, which was handed down last week Friday.

Cameron’s Attorney along with the State has been given until April 27 2018 for an amount to be settled on.

In addition, the judges said at the end of the preliminary enquiry that if a decision is taken that Cameron should stand trial for murder, or if the case is placed before the court on a voluntary bill of indictment, the trial must commence before the end of the first quarter of next year.

“Failing which, the trial of the charges shall be stayed unless the trial is delayed due to the fault of the defence (Cameron or his attorney),” they again warned.

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