Judge sums up Vybz Kartel murder trial / Busta Visits [Video]
March 6th, 2014
Justice Lennox Campbell gave final instructions to jurors in the Vybz Kartel murder trial Thursday morning. Campbell said that the first main issue to determine in the case is whether or not Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams is dead. These are verbatim notes by Jamaican Broadcast Journalist, and Attorney-at-law Emily Crooks was able to capture, of Campbell’s instructions to jurors.
“Madam foreman and your members you have heard all the evidence in this case since November. You have heard 24 witnesses for the prosecution and in my estimation four for the defence. We have had frequent adjournments. You have heard 6 closing addresses from Counsel at the bar.
It is now my duty to sum up the evidence to tell you what the law is and assist you in coming to your verdict.
Madam foreman and your members, you will recall at the beginning of these proceedings you all took an oath, some took an affirmation – and remember that is of great significance. It should not be treated lightly.
Madam foreman and your members, you should not let your verdict be affected by extraneous or external circumstances. Recall the trial was widely covered by the media. I cannot assume that you all were insulated from all the coverage but recall your oath and remember that because of that oath you cannot take into consideration external matters.
A great Roman jurist once said, “justice is a great and constant purpose that should give each and every man his due.” I urge upon you Madam Foreman and your members that you should be devoted to doing justice according to law, nothing else.
The accused are before this Court charged on an indictment for one count. They are charged as Adidja Palmer, Calvin ..o he’s no longer here, Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones, Shane Williams, and Aundre St. John ..accused of murder. They are accused of murdering Clive Williams.
Let me just put in a nutshell the two cases.
The prosecution’s case is that two guns, or as they call it shoes, were given to Llamar Chow and Clive Williams to hide or to lock. The prosecution have led evidence suggesting that Palmer instituted a deadline for the return of the guns that had gone missing. On the 16th of August, Shawn Campbell pressured Clive Williams and Chow to the registered home of Palmer. The other accused men were at home when Chow and Williams arrived. Williams was attacked, Chow ran and when he returned he saw Williams’ lifeless body. Chow fled the yard but was pursued by Palmer. Palmer re-assured Chow that he had nothing to worry about. Chow then followed Palmer to the hospital. Chow was invited to follow Palmer to Guyana in order to avoid questioning by law enforcement. An odour smelling like a dead animal was subsequently detected at Mr. Palmer’s Havendale home.
No one has seen or heard from Clive Lizard Williams since the day he was seen by Chow lying motionless on his back. The Prosecution says there is strong electronic evidence pointing to the guilt of the accused.
That is the prosecutions case.
The defence are saying that the men are not guilty of murdering Williams if in fact he’s dead. In fact there is a letter from Chow saying Williams was seen alive after August 16, 2010. That Williams never went to Palmer’s home but in fact departed the motor vehicle at a hotel in Havendale. That mobile data produced by the prosecution placed the accused at a separate location when the crime was said to have taken place.
They, the defence, have alleged a conspiracy on the part of the Police to implicate Palmer. They have alleged that Palmer’s case was prejudiced by the National Security Minister who blamed him for crimes in Jamaica. The defence have said Chow was part of a concoction.
The main issue for you jurors is to determine if Clive Lizard Williams is dead. If the answer is he is not or you are not sure then that’s the end of the matter you must acquit, because the prosecution have not been able to find a central piece of the indictment. Because in most of the cases before the Courts the prosecution are required to state a cause of death and lead evidence detailing a body being put into the earth. That has not been done by the prosecution. No evidence has been led stating that the dead body of Williams was seen.
However as you may be aware not all cases is it possible to bring such evidence. The fact of death may be proved by what is called circumstantial evidence. That is madam foreman and your members evidence that leads to one conclusion and one only. And before you can draw a conclusion that Clive Lizard Williams is dead all the evidence provided by the prosecution must lead to one conclusion – that Clive Williams is dead.
In the absence of a body death can be proved by circumstantial evidence that renders the conclusion of death. The evidence must be so cogent and compelling and above reasonable doubt that it leads to the conclusion that Lizard Williams is dead. If you have any doubt about him being dead, then you must acquit.
Recall there is a letter that an expert said was written by Mr. Llamar Chow. We are going to be looking very closely at that. Recall that the evidence states that the author of that letter said Williams was seen alive after August 16, 2010. Note that the prosecution are saying Clive Williams died a year after that.
If you are sure Williams is dead, you must then be sure that the evidence points in one direction – that the accused men killed Clive Williams. And I tell you madam foreman and your members, in a matter such as this persons may play different parts in an alleged murder but if they are found to have been part of one common purpose, that is to kill, they should be held accountable for the murder.
When you hear about a Common Design, there needs be no formality. Such a plan may be inferred, it could be spur of the moment that can constitute a plan, no official agreement is necessary. To find all guilty you have to be convinced that all played some party, whether large or small, in a plan which had one intent, to kill.
I must tell you Madam foreman and your members you and I are Judges who try this case. I should tell you we have slightly separate functions though and we should not usurp and take over each others functions. It is my duty to interpret the law. You cannot say ‘bwoi my fren di lawyer seems like him know di law better than this Judge’. I am considered supreme regarding interpretation of the law here and you must take that interpretation from me.
In the same way I am supreme regarding the law, you are considered supreme considering the facts. If you think I wrongly stated the facts according to what you hear, I think it is Miss Harris who said you can toss it aside (* Judge Campbell has a wry grin hee*) ..she is correct, if I incorrectly stated the facts you can toss it aside.
You have seen the witnesses, you have heard them, you have observed them, it is for you madam foreman and your members to make up your minds regarding what you make of them, whether they spoke the truth. However you are not entitled to abandon the evidence and come up with a theory and make up a theory not based on the evidence and make a decision in that regard. Your supremacy concerning the facts, does not entitle you to make up a theory. You are bound by the evidence alone, you must not allow yourself to be taken unto a path of speculation.
Look at the evidence, look to the evidence alone, not some speculation, not some conjecture. The evidence must be your yardstick by which you Judge this case. You must analyze the witnesses and by witnesses I mean those called by the prosecution and defence. You madam foreman and your members must not allow sympathy to determine your verdict. You must approach the evidence calmly and dispassionately. You cannot have sympathy for Williams or the accused and to ground your verdict on that basis. That would be improper.
You live in a society that is violent from Negril point to Morant Point. And because these men are charged with a violent crime you cannot use the fact of the society we exist in against them. You cannot use the fact that guns are mentioned in this case to prejudice this case and be the basis where you formulate your verdict. I cannot implore you more strongly to not allow feelings of sympathy to influence your verdict. There is no basis in law for a verdict to be influenced by sympathy.
In this case you heard mention of the tragic death of a girlfriend, of a child that needs taking case of, you may recall the tears of Mr. Clive Williams’ sister. Do not let that influence you. You heard mention of guns being given for being locked. Do not use that to arrive at a verdict. Their morals are not on trial. You are not to use that as a basis to determine that the accused are responsible for crime in Jamaica. You must look at the totality of the evidence related to – were they responsible for taking Clive Lizard Williams’ life.
You are entitled madam foreman and your members to take into consideration the demeanor of the witnesses. You may bear in mind how they acted. Particularly under cross examination. You may take into account the relationship between witnesses and their intelligence. In regard to this using common sense and your knowledge of Jamaicans you will eventually be required to come to a finding whether you regard the witnesses as witnesses of truth.
Madam foreman and your members you are well equipped to come to a verdict. You don’t need to be dressed up in a lawyers garb. Don’t say because you are acting as judges here you are to discard your common sense. That’s the most important ingredient here.
I must remind you of two principles in law.
Firstly, being an accused man is innocent until prove guilty and it is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove guilt. An accused man does not have to prove his evidence.
On the prosecution’s case madam foreman and your members – there was a common design. They have outlined using voice notes and messages that Mr. Adidja Palmer was upset because two of his guns had gone missing. You heard a voicenote saying – ‘him an him mumma ago dead’ (Judge Campbell mimicks voicenotes).
Secondly, the prosecution are saying that Shawn Campbell knew what would transpire by virtue of a text message he sent saying people ago dead. Recall that Campbell on the prosecution’s case had persuaded Mr. Chow and Mr. Williams to Kartel’s home.
Recall Mr. Chow’s evidence that when they, he and Lizard arrived at Kartel’s home. ( *JPS cuts power supply here ..mic stops working ..Judge Campbell continues as if nothing happened* ) Recall Madam foreman and your members that Mr. Chow said he saw a girl at Kartel’s home on August 16, 2011. I suppose he’s a celebrity of sort, so people will always be following him.
If you accept Chow’s evidence – Lizard was not sick last he saw him on August 14, 2011. He went in on his own speed to Kartel’s home and if you accept what Chow said – he was later seen motionless, lying on his back. The Prosecution are relying on testimony from Chow that St. John was seen with a block and Jones had grabbed Lizard from behind.
The next item the prosecution is relying on is the video. The video that Superintendent Thompson (Judge Campbell emphasizes the H) said was the House he visited where he felt a foul odour.
The prosecution are also relying on a message which they have alleged was sent by Mr. Palmer stating that dem cyaa find Lizard. Recall that there was an urgency in messages it was said was sent by Mr. Palmer regarding guns, that urgency according to the evidence led up to the 16th of August 2011. The prosecution r relying on evidence that that urgency disappeared after the 16th. Recall also that Mr. Williams’ sister has testified that they were close but she has not seen or heard from him since that date and they were in no malice.”