Judge Nancy F. Sammy of Criminal Court ‘B’ has accused officers of the courts of demanding money from individuals just for those persons to serve on jury panels in the court. Judge Sammy made specific reference to Montserrado County.
Our judicial correspondent said a jury service is a civil duty that enables a citizen to attend a court trial and help a judge determines who is guilty or innocent.
Judge Sammy further stated, “Court officers have been demanding and receiving payments from individuals in order to place them on the jury.”
She made the allegation recently when she spoke at the official opening of the May 2014 Term of Criminal Courts, A, B, C and D, at the Temple of Justice.
“This practice must be discontinued, because anybody or any court personnel who engages in this unwholesome behavior will face the wrath of the court,” she threatened.
The Judge said anyone caught in the act, that person would be dismissed.
Pointing to a new set of jurors, the Criminal Court Judge said, “It is in accordance with our Constitution and Statue that you have been summoned from the various districts and communities in Montserrado County to be with us this term of court. Your been with us is to perform a civil duty for our beloved country.”
“It means that you will be with us for the next 42 days to perform your civil duty with impartiality, so as to render a true verdict in each case, predicated upon the evidence and the controlling law,” she maintained.
“Do not come to perform this duty with a mind set to render verdict that are contrary to the evidence and the applicable laws before you for reward on hope.” Judge Sammy warned.
Narrating her experiences with jury tempering, Judge Sammy said, “throughout our experiences, as a practicing lawyer in Montserrado County at every opening of a new court term, the issue of jury tempering is always highlighted in most of the statements made by the judges, charge to the lawyers, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and the representative of the Liberia National Bar Association.”
“If you have done so before, you who have the intention of doing so, and you who may be involved in doing so, we warn you that, you will endeavor to engage in such act or acts at your own peril.”