Trial delays should be no surprise
Stabroek News
March 14, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I am unsure which is more 'staggering' and 'disturbing'; that neither Chancellor Bernard nor our Attorney General were aware of the trial backlog. Many prisoners risked their lives to climb onto the roof of 'lot 12' to raise public conciousness about these gross constitutional abuses and bring attention to their situations. Newspapers carried photographs and aired the stories of these prisoners.

Yet our 'Chief Law Enforcement Official' knew nothing of this problem. I know of several prisoners awaiting trial for more than 5 years. And yes, Chancellor, some are awaiting trial in the High Court. Bunny Skeete, for example, has been waiting more than five years.

These conditions and abuses must be seen in the light or darkness of the extra judicial killings reported by the GHRA. The GHRA admitted, and I can vouch, that several names are missing from the list of persons killed/executed by law enforcement officers. I wonder whether the GHRA report was as 'disturbing' and as 'staggering' a 'revelation'.

In a social construct where law enforcement officers execute without arrest and trial, why try those that are arrested. It is part of the same disrespect for the rights of the individual and of people as a whole. Perhaps these attitudes and conditions were seen as a tool for fighting crime. For those who see no problem with these conditions, wait until it happens to you or your loved one.

Finally, I wish to excite the local bar into action. This situation should never have been permitted. But since it's here, we need lawyers to volunteer their services in seeking bail and other resolutions for those imprisoned. We do not need another 'study'. We need day and night court until this situation is resolved.

Yours faithfully,

Clairmont M. Chung, Esq.