Justice Ministry says JPs seen in viral video with murder accused Rushane Barnett to face consequences if investigation reveals breaches of JPs Act
The Justice Ministry says there will be consequences if the Justices of the Peace seen in a viral video with murder accused Rushane Barnett are found to have breached the Justices of the Peace Act and the JP’s Code of Conduct.
Barnett, charged with the murder of five family members in Cocoa Piece Clarendon last month, was questioned in the video by four people, who identified themselves as JPs and one as a medical practitioner.
Yesterday (July 4), the Ministry said the Custos of St. Andrew is to launch a full investigation into the conduct of the Justices of the Peace who were seen in the video.
It said, notice is taken with great concern of the video being circulated on social media, in which the JPs are seen questioning the condition and health of accused Rushane Barnett, whilst the engagement was being videotaped.
According to the Ministry, JPs have an obligation to perform voluntary community-based activities as the Custos may require, which include, visits to prisons to ensure the rights of persons in custody are protected and that their dignity is respected in prisons or lock-ups.
It said checking on the well-being of accused and detained persons is an appropriate role and duty of specified JPs, however, videotaping is inappropriate and should not be done.
The Ministry added that it is inappropriate for JPs to be present during a medical examination.
Meantime, Tamika Harris, the attorney representing Barnett says she will be pursuing disciplinary proceedings against the Justices of the Peace and the medical doctor seen in the viral video.