Justice Williams Offers Discount For Guilty Pleas To Free Up Backlog Cases

Judicial Consideration of Temporary Increases in Sentencing Discounts
for Guilty Pleas in respect of select
offences This Circular, issued by the Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division, the Hon. Mrs. Justice Shade Subair Williams, marks the introduction of a temporary policy of sentence discounts on guilty pleas. This is intended to assist in the clearing of the backlog of active indictable matters in the Supreme Court.

It follows a period of consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms. Cindy Clarke, in addition to senior practising members of the Criminal Bar
and the Senior Legal Aid Counsel, Mrs. Susan Moore-Williams.

The following policy statement applies to Accused persons awaiting
sentence, having pleaded guilty to one or more charges on an
Indictment. It also applies to any Accused person who enters (a) guilty plea(s) between the date of this Circular and Wednesday 3 August 2022
For Accused persons who know and unequivocally accept their guilt in
pleading guilty to the charge(s) against them, the Court will strongly consider applying an additional sentencing discount of up to 30% in the cases where the Director of Public Prosecutions determines that it is appropriate to do so. (In some cases the additional discount may give rise to the passing of a sentence other than an immediate custodial sentence.)

This policy is subject to the following exclusion:

The additional sentencing discount shall not apply to any conviction for (an) offence(s) of:

Premeditated murder,

murder or attempted murder;

Using, possessing or carrying a firearm;

Sexual or violent offences against young persons or child victims;

Possessing, making or distributing Child
Pornography or Serious Sexual Assaults

Any Accused person wishing to enter (an) unequivocal guilty plea(s)
should make contact with the Director of Public Prosecutions for her
determination on whether the case in question qualifies under the
policy and whether she deems it suitable for an additional discount of
up to 30%.

Upon the agreement of the Director of Public Prosecutions, contact should be made with the Registry to request a listing for arraignment on one of the following dates:

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