Mother In Black should monitor current serious traffic cases, these men should have been charged indictably
January 22, 2002
I would like to follow up on my letter on Magistrate Yaw's decision on the two motorists who were racing down Vlissengen Road resulting in the death of two pedestrians. All attention is focused on the magistrate who I believe must answer immediately to higher judicial officials. But this case shows the horrible features of our justice system that needs urgent reform.
If these two men on the basis of the evidence could have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, then what were the reasons for putting the case in front of a magistrate. My point is if in a situation like this there wasn't a jury trial, what type of road accident merits such a process? How many persons does an errant driver have to kill before he is taken to the high court?
If the PNC is serious about the chaotic traffic situation, as it said it is in a recent press statement, then it must speak out against this miscarriage of justice that has occurred in Mr. Yaw's court. If the Government is concerned with social stability, then it must use whatever constitutional avenue exists to bring about an investigation into this bizarre court case.
Getting involved in this particular court decision is important because there are a few more rich persons before the courts on both dangerous driving and causing death by dangerous driving charges. And I believe if we speak out now we are likely to bring about two things; (1) we may get the traffic magistrates around the country to think about the wrath of public opinion before they hand done their esoteric decisions, (2) it may bring about a transfer of the pending cases from the lower courts to the higher courts where the decision rests with a judge and a jury, that is thirteen persons.
Mothers-in-Black have to extend the parameters of their struggle. At the moment they are concentrating on law enforcement and the need for more relevant laws. But they need to do some research on the cases before the courts so that those who killed people on the road should be punished. They should seek a meeting with the DPP, the Minister of Home Affairs, the Police Commissioner, the Court Registrar, and the Chief Justice to request to see the files on those awaiting trial for dangerous driving and causing death by dangerous driving. They should take a careful look at the social background of those charged and keep a vigilant watch on the cases of those well endowed accused who are willing to buy their way out. Also they should demand a trained lawyer be the prosecutor in all serious traffic charges.