I would like to point to the glaring hypocrisy at the core of much of the media commentaries surrounding the Worl’ Boss and his conviction. Many have been quick to lambaste him — as maybe he deserves to be — but I ask, what part did the gatekeepers of information have in building the Vybz Kartel they are now so quick to turn their backs on? Were not the media gatekeepers, too, neglecting their social responsibility by not better regulating the airwaves and not filtering what was being siphoned to the nation?

I would like to point to the glaring hypocrisy at the core of the decision to free Kern “Bulb Boss” Spencer. The Government has shown its will to decisively uphold the rule of law is weak. We live in a time and political climate in Jamaica where the State seems committed to consistently targeting the marginalised and those not able to buy the best lawyers. Hence the nation has no faith in the justice system, nor does it believe in the institutions charged with maintaining law and order.

I want to make a point of note on the rule of law to our ministries of national security and justice. The rule of law is concerned with the range of processes through which the law governing the relationships amongst individual and State can be enforced and administered. This crucial theme that has grown out of the concept of the rule of law as it has been developed in the UK, and is adopted here in Jamaica, posits that in Albert Venn Dicey’s understanding “the law should not be arbitrarily or capriciously administered by those in power”.

The spirit of the Constitution of Jamaica is that the power or duties of each arm of government should not overlap. Resident Magistrates don’t have security of tenure as part of the public service and yet such an office falls within the executive arm of the State. Hence, the court system we have may very well contravene the constitution and the notion of the separation of powers as well as undermine the doctrine of rule of law. The Jamaican RM Court is a one of a kind in the world. No other such structure exists.

Let us not overlook the mess made in the creation of the Gun Court. It was a failure in scholarship and jurisprudence. The unusual features of the Gun Court have faced legal challenges, some of which have forced amendment of the Gun Court Act. The Gun Court has faced criticism on several fronts, most notably for its departure from traditional practices, its large backlog of cases, and for the continuing escalation in gun violence since its institution.

A 1993 country report on human rights practices in Jamaica from the United States Department of State noted the denial of a “fair public trial” and alleged that Gun Court trials observe “less rigorous rules of evidence than in regular court proceedings”. The Canadian Bar Association’s Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force noted that the Gun Court is overloaded; that defendants are not well represented, and Crown attorneys are often inexperienced. Hence, when reviewed by international standards, it is evident that we have a unique court system — and that’s no compliment.

If we are to move forward as a nation we must cut these wretched political hypocrisies in our system.

“Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.” — John Adams

Yannick Nesta Pessoa is a writer, artist and entrepreneur. Comments: yannickpessoa@yahoo.com

http://yahnyk.blogspot.com & http://yahnyk.tumblr.com


  1. it’s dangerous to comment on a court case without knowing the details, if anyone is to be blamed for the Kern Spencer case is the DPP…according to Kern’s lawyer, K D Knight, the evidence presented before the courts ws very different from what was being broadcast via the media

    1. i agree, we do need to know the details of a case before we make certain comments.

      the vybz kartel case and trial was covered extensively by the media (jmg lol, cuz if it was up to gleaner, star or which ever else media outlet, half a weh wi know we wouldn’t know), so we can comment more on kartel’s case, even though we still don’t have all the details that came out in court.

      the kern spencer trial was not covered extensively so we are still in the dark as to what exactly went on.

  2. Di justice scale unbalance, trafigura, light bulb, 80 election, etc. etc., politicians always get weh.

  3. What gatekeepers—stop with the foolishness? It is the underground and not the radio that made artiste like Kartel and Bounty Killer massive artiste—not necessarily air play.

    What’s the sense in comparing Kartel’s trial with that of Spencer—and if you have to, please note that all prior cases against Kartel were dismissed akin to Kern’s? Different type of cases and the two should never be compared. The writer of this article in not objective and is very myopic—posturing toward to the under-informed masses that follow Kartel.

    Nonetheless, the author made valid points pertaining to the Gun Court; however, the relating Gun Court concerns should not have been looped into Kartel’s trial and government hypocrisy.

    If Kartel were not to have led a life where his own actions led to his demise, the dissenters would have an argument. However, it is Kartel’s own doing why he is where he is today. Normally, the Kartel’s of the world would have beaten such cases and it is for this reason why I have to again applaud the justice system for remaining steadfast…

    1. Well stated Lalibela. Further, the culture supports and protects wrong doers, particularly those from the garrisons. I generally notice outrage only when one of them gets killed by the police or against someone like the X6 driver. Had the situation been reversed mad he was murdered by one of their dons, nobody would have a thing to say. What sets Kartel’s trial apart has much to do with the willingness of the witness to testify. When are they ever willing to testify in order to garner a conviction. The rule of law is impotent with a citizenry with no regard.
      Didn’t the Coke family just murder a 12 year old? Where’s the collective outrage?
      The gun court has no relating to the escalation in violence. Fear of prison has never been a deterrent against crime in a culture where informants are vilified and killed.
      What Jamaica needs is a militarized police force armed with sophisticated weaponry and technology. We need to offer rewards and protection for witnesses as well as implement a stringently operated internal affairs department.
      There needs to be a mass cleansing for the populace to accept the era heralds a new Jamaica.

      1. I agree 100%–it is very refreshing that the witnesses skirted the many threats and indentations and still testified. Along with the police, judge and the prosecutors remaining steadfast in the execution of their respective duties, has made this a landmark case.

        Now that the precedence has been set; aspiring criminals will be faced with a reality where threats and bribery are no longer the other of the day…

  4. Mixing apples with oranges! Vybz Kartel implicated himself and based on evidence, sent himself to prison. His actions clearly spoke volume. Based on the little shared in the Kern case he states that it was a gift. Not that he was not affiliated with the source of which the light bulbs came from. Now if we were to address the conflict of interest lets do so but frankly the mixture of apples and oranges cannot be compared. As technology continues to grow to all different branches it is my belief that so schold Jamaicas Policing and investigating. Training and new ways to combat these criminals are essential in developing and correcting the issues our country faces. Unless they are like Kartell and will tell the story through hospital visits , voicenotes and text messages, then securing evidence is vital. No worries Kartel 35 is our lucky number…

  5. Read the article and it begs the question, where is a proposed solution? This juxtaposition of Kern Spencer’s trial with Geishell’s trial along with the Gun Court’s existence and failures is erroneous and confusing.

    They are all separate issues and cannot be lumped together to make an argument, especially as presented by the writer.

    Kern Spencer did not orchestrate a heinous crime as Geishell was proven to commit. As we all should know, without the actual information that a jury hears, it is difficult to arrive at a logical conclusion. In Geishell’s case, we the public were privy to much of what the jurors heard in court and were able to arrive at a logical conclusion. Thankfully, the consensus was in line with the jurors.

    We were not afforded the same privilege in the Spencer case. There weren’t anyone giving us the verbatim reports as was the case of Geishell.

    There are many frustrating instances of cases in Jamaica getting dismissed after no case submissions by defense attorneys. In fact, the same Geishell had a MURDER case dismissed in a similar fashion to Kern Spencer by no case submission.

    Was the system rigged against Geishell when he prevailed via no case submission in the Barrington Bossie murder case? To imply that the system was against Geishell in Lizard’s murder is fallacious and ludicrous.

    It suggests an inability to come to terms with the reality that someone as revered as Geishell (by his fandom) could orchestrate and commit such a heinous crime.

    Kern Spencer’s case is a totally different situation. While it is easy to make a comparison based on the different outcomes, it is superficial to think that Kern benefitted from the no case submission simply because he is from a different side of the street than Geishell. In fact, that is the ONLY comparison that could be made of both individuals and their respective cases.

    Rich, Poor, Educated and Uneducated have all benefited from no case submissions. Social status rarely play a role in cases, contrary to what many are wont to believe. If there is sufficient compelling evidence to move a case forward and which would cause a jury to arrive at a verdict, judges will proceed with the case. It is that simple. Judges have a stake in cases for the preservation and dispensation of justice.

    The Gun Court was established with specificity. It’s primary purpose was to handle gun crimes expeditiously. It was not perfect but it was the available system to lessen the load of inordinate gun crimes that were clogging the circuit courts of Jamaica. How does that tie into the Geishell or Kern Spencer’s trials, I am still trying to find out.

    We will continue to talk about Geishell for a long time. There is much to learn about his mindset and what could have caused a man who seemingly had everything going for him, to orchestrate a gruesome murder to his own demise. That is unfathomable and if we are to prevent further self destruction of youths, we must try to learn from the most recent exhibit, Geishell.

    Met, mi gawn. Sorry for de length.

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