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Lawyers want to return to jury trial

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Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie says lawyers here are seeking jury trials of their clients’ cases, prompting them to invite the health authorities for some discussions aimed at determining if they can arrange to carry out jury trials.

The Judicial Branch of Government relaxed jury trials of cases at the start of the coronavirus crisis here as a way of preventing possible mass infection of potential jurors and other court workers.

Those wishing to have their cases tried by jury have had to wait for the advice of health officials as the bench trial (only the judge sits on the case) has been entertained throughout the crisis.

This August Term of Court will also hear cases void of the jury, but Justice Wolokollie discloses that most of the judges are complaining that lawyers say they need jurors to sit on their cases. As such, Justice Wolokollie notes that health authorities have been invited for some discussions.

She continues that following the institution of preventive measures aimed at combating coronavirus by health authorities, the Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor mandated judges not to allow their courtrooms to be overcrowded, but to only allow people attracted to the case.

Meanwhile, Justice Wolokollie calls on media personnel assigned at the court to first get the side of those working within the judiciary upon getting information, before publishing or talking about it on the radio.

“This goes to the media directly, we are saying that we that work with the judiciary are not perfect, we know there are issues, we are aware that there are issues with corruption, not to a large skill. There might be petty corruption but the media for some reason they [are] going out and they are anti-foaming,” she says.

“Media personal anti-foaming judiciary without any evidence.Lately they have been on the Commercial Court judge, they’ve been talking about every time it is a different amount,” Justice Wolokollie adds.

Justice Wolokollie continues that the media should not allow themselves to be used by other individuals wanting to win their case at all cost, noting that people through the media, are accusing her of taking millions of dollars that she herself cannot account for.

“People call to tell me they heard something about me on the radio and I just smile because I do, you know I have done nothing wrong,” she continues.
“My point is other people seeing you not being able to rationalize, they come immediately they hear you took a million, they ready to go all around. For example, if I took a million of someone’s money, how do I account for it because some kind of way you will have to account for it? She wonders.

She argues that it is different when you take five thousand or ten thousand, but one million, two million is a lot of money.

By Ben P. Wesee–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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