Posted by: nastylittletruths | August 27, 2008

“Jumping The Bus”

The subject line refers to a practice in the US where law officials ‘get into bed’ with criminals to prosecute someone they’ve targeted. Here’s an excerpt from my recent read, The Tyranny Of Good Intentions by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton. See if it sounds familiar:

“Government informants sell information on open or unsolved cases to prison inmates. Sometimes prosecutors and federal agents feed the information directly. The inmate memorizes the case, which gives him the appearance of having inside knowledge. The inmate then comes forward claiming information to trade in exchange for a reduced sentence, which under the guidelines can only be granted at a prosecutor’s request. The inmate then works with the prosecutor to finger someone. It might be another inmate or a person on the outside. The inmate, coached by the prosecutors, weaves a story to connect the person with the crime. Sometimes the prosecutor supplies the names of the persons that he wants fingered by fabricated testimony”.

Nothing is new under the sun… The above excerpt written and published by Americans in 2000, with probably no idea of Trinidad, could have been speaking about the Vijay Narinesingh trial. A trial that snow-balled into accusations by DPP Geoffrey Henderson and the then AG, John Jeremie, to the Prime Minister that Chief Justice Sat Sharma attempted to pervert the course of justice. Everyone knows how that went deeper and deeper into the muck until it was dropped for another charge against the CJ (the political stakes were higher if it was found that the CJ attempted to influence the case against Bas) that was eventually dismissed by the Courts. That episode, up to now, still leaves one with a nagging feeling that the entire story was not ventilated and the truth remained hidden.

We can only wonder what Shawn Parris (serving a 30 year sentence for the murder) was offered for his testimony since Junior Morris was already granted immunity in 2004. Both men gave testimony in the courts against Narinesingh , his wife and Elton Ramasir, but the cases were eventually thrown out. Is it possible? Were we ‘jumping on the bus’ for this one? And if yes, who’s next?

There’s a commonality in the way prosecutors operate in high crime jurisdictions and that’s by getting their number of convictions up. To show some progress in the fight against crime, and we are desperate to see that here, how will an innovative prosecutor look to do this? How will legislators look at it? By casting a wider net and creating new laws or using existing laws to target innocent people? We probably have the lowest detection rates in the world and I know that conviction rates are even worse. And since the Police can’t catch the criminals, will we – out in the open sunlight – be sitting ducks?

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