Chief Justice concerned about conviction rate of less than 30 per cent in the island’s circuit courts

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes has expressed concern about the low conviction rate being seen in the island’s Circuit Courts.

This, as he noted that less than 30 per cent of cases that go to trial end with a conviction.

Speaking recently in St. James, Justice Sykes noted that from January 2018 to November 2023, the Circuit Court saw a conviction rate of 29.13% for bench trials.

For jury trials, the conviction rate was 21.25%.

Justice Sykes said the low conviction rates suggest that there is a problem within the system.

He said an acceptable conviction rate would be around 60 to 80 per cent.

Justice Sykes added that the chance of acquittal is too high in Jamaica.


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