High Court Judge Justice Carlisle Greaves returned to a recurring theme that has marked his three-decade judicial career – a “firearm crisis for some time”.
He told 31 new jurors in the No. 3 Supreme Court on Monday that he hopes to make a “dent” in a raft of arms case before his court during this session of the Continuous Assizes.
As a magistrate, he once urged that lawmakers raise an ammunition penalty from just $25 “faster than a bullet can travel”.
Now a senior jurist, Justice Greaves said: “We have a lot of serious matters to do over the next several weeks, many of them are gun-related cases. This court tends to concentrate on cases involving firearms.
“These firearms cases are very serious,” the judge told the jurors. “In this session we are not only going to be doing possession of firearm cases but we are going to be doing use of firearm cases . . . so we are going to see a lot of that I expect and we are going to try to make a dent in the incidents of firearm cases in this country. There may be some other types of cases as well but I expect them to be minimal if at all.
“As you know, we have been going through a firearm crisis in this country for some time. This is not to say every man who is charged before us is guilty nor not, the law presents that every man is presumed innocent until he is proved guilty.
“Your role is to determine whether he is guilty or not guilty after you have heard all the facts under the law.”
Justice Greaves also urged the jurors to take their duty seriously.
He said: “Carry out your duties well, it is an important role that you have to play in respect of our judicial system and the liberties that we enjoy as citizens of this nation, you play an important role in that and you must not underestimate it.
“You get an opportunity to serve as jurors; you get an opportunity to demonstrate your responsibility to your nation, it is not a duty that you should shirk; it is not a duty that you should take lightly. You should see it as your civic duty, your responsibility to contribute and to demand that justice is served . . . to each man his due non less no more,” he stated as he urged the jurors to follow the COVID-19 protocols in place.
“It’s a serious pandemic out there, so we will follow the protocols at all times.”