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News : World Last Updated: Jun 12th, 2010 - 09:30:05


Criminal lawyers and politicians
By Marston Gordon
Jun 12, 2010, 09:04

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In Jamaica there is hardly a distinction between criminal lawyers and those they purport to represent. I am therefore heartened to read in the major dailies of June 9, 2010 that two JLP “criminal lawyers” were denied access to Tivoli Gardens under the Emergency Powers and Regulations Act (State of Emergency).

 

The Dudus extradition refusal has exposed the great pretence that politicians have no connection with gunmen, and also that lawyers represent truth and justice. Political parties worldwide are over represented by the legal profession, and Jamaica is no exception. However, our politicians have used it to the disadvantage of the wider society by creating a nexus with criminals. Accused individuals with party affiliation, in most cases, are not represented by the best legal minds, period, but by the best legal mind of the party they support.

 

Feeding tree

Under the guise of “presumption of innocence” which infers that most people are not criminals, lawyers representing accused party functionaries, swallow their conscience and defend career criminals over and over again. They in some cases know that the accused are guilty, but are sworn to defend, unmindful of the rampant criminality that has overtaken the society as a result of their actions. However, when prominent attorney Shirley Playfair was murdered in April 2000 a few of these good lawyers declared they had no interest in representing any accused in this case.

 

What has developed over time is the criminal-lawyer-politician connection wherein these legal minds bridge the gap between the two and live off the fat; they have a steady demand for their services from the genetically connected, and the politicians can boast how they defend the rights of poor people. Is it just coincidence that repeat offenders are just plain bad lucky or guilty as charged, in that, they keep getting into trouble with the law, only to retain the same party affiliated lawyers over and over again? The irony is that an unemployed man who one day cannot find food for himself, at the first sign of troubles with the law can afford the most expensive party affiliated criminal lawyer. It would be interested to find out who pays the bill; the appointment of Queen’s Council (QC) on the recommendation of the prime minister must be discontinued.

 

Two tribes

Below is a list of some past and present accomplices that comprise the orange and green legal teams:

 

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)

 

JOAN WOODSTOCK , JERMEY PALMER, DOUGLAS THOMPSON, PATRICK ATKINSON, PATRICK BAILEY, KAY BENNETT SHERMAN, RANSFORD BRAHAM, LESLIE AND AINSWORTH CAMPBELL,
JANICE CAUSEWELL,  LILIETH DEACON, KENT GAMMON,
GEORGE FATTA, LANCE CLARKE, GEORGE THOMAS,
ARTHUR KITCHEN, PETER MILLLINGEN, GEORGE SOUTAR,
TOM TAVARES-FINSON, FRANK PHIPPS, DAVID WONG KEN

 


Peoples National Party (PNP)

 

EARL WITTER, GLADSTONE WILSON, CARLTON WILLIAMS, GEORGE BARTHOLMEW, LEON PALMER, HUNTLEY WATSON, ANDRE EARLE,
HUGH THOMPSON, MICHAEL VACCIANA, CAROL VASSELL,
JOHN THOMPSON, BERT AND JACKIE SAMUELS, CARL RATTRAY
JOY BAILEY WILLIAMS, WALTER SCOTT, GLEN CRUICKSHANK,
RAPHEL CODLIN, CARL DOWDING, NORMA LINTON, ANTONNETTE HAUGHTON, VERNON RICKETTS, K. CHURCHILL NEITA,
W. K. CHIN SEE, ANTHONY SPAULDING, ERROL GENTLES,
VALRIE NEITA ROBERTSON, OSWEST SENIOR SMITH

 

Conflicting interest

Tom Tavares-Finson, is a former JLP candidate who unsuccessfully contested the 1989 election in South St. Catherine; this was not his first attempt at representational politics. More recently he was the legal representative for fugitive Dudus Coke, and a member of the upper house debating the anti-gang bill. On May 18th, days after his senate colleague signed the extradition order against Dudus, and his dual role became manifestly absurd, he relented and served notice to resign as lawyer for the fugitive. Twenty years ago (1990) Mr. Finson also represented Dudus’ father, Lester Lloyd Coke “Jim Brown”, in is his extradition proceeding.

 

Lawyers and Saints

Below are some party affiliated lawyers and the saints represented:

Anthony “Tony” Spaulding M.P.,- Winston “Burry Boy” Blake in the allege murder of Albert Brown (1966)

 

Carl Rattray, Q.C., Past- President of the Court of Appeal (PNP)- Burry Boy in the murder of Leroy Clarke (1972)

 

W. K. Chin See, Q.C., Past Chairman of the Electoral Advisory Committee (PNP)- Carl Brown in the murder of Leroy Clarke (1972)

 

Glen Cruickshank, Q.C., (PNP)- Carl Brown in the murder of Leroy Clarke (1972)

 

Norma Linton, Q.C., (PNP)- Ashton Farquharson in the CIBC robbery (1970)

 

The lead saint in each of the case noted above was Winston “Burry Boy” Blake (1972), and George Flash “Bonero” (1970). Notice the high level legal team assembled by the PNP in defence of Burry Boy.

 

 

Frank Phipps, Q.C., Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (former), Former Chairman of the JLP- Lester Lloyd Coke and Richard “Storyteller” Morrison in the US extradition case (1991)

 

Tom Tavares-Finson- Jim Brown in the allege murder of Oliver Clarke in Rema (1984); Jim Brown in the allege murder of minibus driver Jerome White (1988); Jim Brown in US extradition proceeding (1990); Jim Brown’s family at the inquest into his death (1992)

 

George Soutar- Jim Brown in the allege murder of Oliver Clarke in Rema (1984); Jim Brown in the allege murder of minibus driver Jerome White (1988); Jim Brown in US extradition proceeding (1990); Jim Brown’s family at the inquest into his death (1992); Vivian Blake in US extradition proceeding (1994)

 

It appears that the JLP was two decades behind in co-joining party affiliated lawyers and saints; what the PNP did for the Hot Stepper Posse, the JLP has done for the Shower Posse.

 

Peace management initiative

The first peace treaty between warring political factions in Jamaica was signed in January 1978 by Aston “Bucky Marshall” Thompson (PNP) and Claudius “Jack” Massop (JLP). Present at the signing was Mr. Desmond McKenzie (now Mayor of Kingston); a year later Massop was killed and at his funeral Mr. McKenzie was quoted as saying “…when they killed Massop, they wiped out the main deterrent to crimes in West Kingston”.

 

The Peace Management Initiative (PMI) must be disbanded forthwith, and Bishop Herro Blair and Rev. Al Miller should resist the urge to negotiate with criminals. They have been at it for a long time now and it has not worked in the past and will not in the future.

 

The wave of optimism that followed the 1978 peace treaty was cautioned only by one politician, Mr. Hugh Small, Minister of Youth and Sports, and I quote “Let us have no illusions and throw up our caps into the air merely at the sight of (Cladius) Massop and Bucky Marshall hugging up one another, those who have benefitted from the division of the working classes might jump in tomorrow to make sure that the peace is not real and lasting”.

 

It does not make sense that a State of Emergency was required to allow the security forces to do their job, politicians must get out of the way of law and order. If the economy does not grow, crime will!

  

 

Source: Jamaica Gleaner


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