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Attorney calls for amendment of Jury Act, following mistrial


One lawyer here is making a call for legislation that will amend the Jury Act and have potential jurors go through a pre-trial jury selection by way of examination.{{more}}

Attorney Kay Bacchus-Browne made the call, following a mistrial in a murder case at the High Court on June 13.

At the trial, in which Green Hill resident Odinga “Boomsa” Fraser is charged with the 2009 murder of his cousin Agassi Fraser, Bacchus-Browne brought to the judge’s attention that a female juror had a close association with the family of the deceased.

As a result, presiding judge Frederick Bruce-Lyle dismissed the entire jury and brought the case to an abrupt end.

A re-trial was ordered in the matter.

“I am calling on the Act to be amended, which will permit pre-trial jury selection by examination… Not for every case, but I will say at least for murder trials and maybe some serious offences. We need to have pre-trial jury selection,” Bacchus-Browne stressed.

She said it is important to amend the Act to avoid such things from happening.

“Certain questions will be asked of them. They do this in a lot of civilized countries,” Bacchus-Browne noted.(KW)