ATTORNEY General Carl Bethel yesterday. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE conviction rate for serious offences has increased to almost 90 percent despite the challenges brought on by the global pandemic, Attorney General Carl Bethel said yesterday.
Speaking at a ceremony held to mark the official opening of the new legal year, Mr Bethel said the conviction rate is 87 percent, up nearly ten percent from the 80 percent record in 2019.
“The director of public prosecutions continues to improve the performance of his prosecutors and I’m proud to confirm that in 2020 the conviction rate increased from 80 percent in 2019, to 87 percent in 2020,” he stated.
“Albeit, we know in the reduced circumstances caused by COVID, but I trust that the DPP will continue to exercise his wisdom and sound judgment to ensure that the gains of his prosecutors in 2020 will be repeated, if not exceeded in 2021.”
Mr Bethel said 18 nolle prosequi (a stop prosecution order) were entered in 2020, three of which pertained to accused persons or defendants who had passed away.
He also said a total of 87 defendants pleaded guilty to offences ranging from murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, rape, stealing, receiving and indecent assault last year.
He said 2020 was an unprecedented year that he believes will be recalled as the “lost year”.
He also spoke of the judiciary’s move to become more digital. Read more >>