Sunday, February 29, 2004

Ja: The courts should be fined!

CAROL WALKER, the woman who was lost in the prison system for 12 years, will have to wait several more weeks to hear whether the charges against her will finally be dismissed.

Walker, who is charged with malicious destruction of property, was scheduled to be tried in the Black River Resident Magistrate's court Thursday, but did not answer when her name was called.

Human rights attorney, Nancy Anderson, who represents Ms. Walker was also absent from the proceedings because of her involvement in a matter before the Supreme Court.

The court clerk, Annemarie Nembhard, told the court that she had received no explanation from the St. Elizabeth Infirmary as to why Ms. Walker was absent.
...
Ms. Walker had been arrested in Balaclava, St. Elizabeth in Novem-ber 1991, and charged with malicious destruction of property, an offence which, if found guilty, she could have served a maximum of three years. She had been an inmate at the Fort Augusta Prison up until five weeks ago.

Who is going to pay this woman for nine lost years? She was never brought to trial for the crime, and thus was never found guilty. Yet, Carol Walker spent 12 years in jail. Jails in the Caribbean are horrendous. You don't even want your dog to spend a night in a Caribbean jail, much less to have a person spend 12 years there without benefit of a trial and conviction. No wonder she has psychiatric problems. Who is going to sue the judiciary on Carol Walker's behalf?

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