Statement from the Attorney-General
Nassau, Bahamas – While Adrian Gibson in 2016 recycles almost word for word in his opinion piece published in The Tribune in the November 6th, 2006 edition, the Swift Justice Team is making real progress.
Thanks to the collaborative effort of prosecutors and police, in the 10 criminal courts provided by the Government in 2015, the conviction rate doubled in 2015 compared to 2012; the time for the presentation of a voluntary bill of indictment has been reduced from 344 to 78 days; 110 more cases were disposed of in 2015 than in 2012 and 7 murders were tried within one year of charge. In 2015 the Witness Care Unit implemented new guidelines for staying engaged with witnesses. Since August of 2015, the unit has dealt with approximately 155 cases.
Importantly, he backlog has being reduced by over 100 cases and four prosecutors have been specifically assigned to deal with backlog cases set for trial.
This increased efficiency and effectiveness is paramount, not only for the victim, but also for the accused who awaits his day in court. It is also a testament to the hard work of prosecutors, witness care officers, data clerks and police officers, all working under tremendous pressure. I will not let anyone discount their efforts.
Admittedly, there is more work to be done. The hardworking prosecutors that I have the privilege to lead and I are up to the task. This is not business as usual. We want to see the end of murder trials 8 – 10 years after the charge. Seven murder trials within one year of charge demonstrates that these matters can be tried within a reasonable period of time, thereby eliminating a revolving door on bail. I ask Adrian Gibson and all Bahamians to join us in this critically important work.