I wish to respond to a recent article published in the Tribune on the contribution given in the House of Assembly by Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins on January 27th, 2016.
A key quality of good leadership is to accept responsibility for the actions of those you lead. As Attorney-General, I have the privilege of directing an office filled with talented, hard working, dedicated Bahamians whose sole concern is the pursuit of justice for the benefit of the Bahamian people. While prosecutors are empowered to make the decisions they see fit during criminal proceedings, ultimately when there are missteps, I must carry that burden.
As the opposition’s shadow minister of national security and an aspiring leader, Dr. Rollins would do well to contemplate the qualities of good leadership- qualities which include being fully informed of matters on which he wishes to make public pronouncements. By suggesting that, “Swift Justice has become no justice,” in the case of the six men accused of being members of a gang and the woman convicted of human trafficking, Dr. Rollins has evaded the facts of both cases and insulted the resolve of prosecutors to see justice done. The men accused have been arraigned on multiple other charges and the Office of the Attorney-General intends to pursue the human trafficking conviction to the highest courts. Justice will be done.
In his eagerness to mock me, and by extension the Office of the Attorney-General, Dr. Rollins also avoided the successes realized through the Swift Justice initiative. Since 2012, conviction rates have doubled. In 2015, we disposed of 110 more cases than at the start of my tenure as Attorney-General, and 7 murder cases went from charge to conviction in a year. The reality is that through the work of the Swift Justice initiative we are tirelessly moving toward a more effective and efficient justice system.
Now that Dr. Rollins is more aware of these matters, he should respect the separation of powers and desist from speaking about on-going judicial matters in the House of Assembly. Instead, Dr. Rollins should celebrate the progress we have made and join in the continuous work of making our Bahamas safer.