Alagi Yorro Jallow
Mamudu: The verdict is out. Derek Chauvin is guilty of all charges. Tonight many people will be glad that the criminal justice system in America has once again lived up to the billing.
Moreover, this is what interests me. The murder was committed on May 25, 2020. It has taken less than a year to try Chauvin and arrive at a verdict. It is also interesting that prosecution witnesses included his police chief and other cops. One would wish our criminal (in)justice system would operate in such a fluid manner. Our cases are often characterized by the gross abuse of the court process: delays, injunctions, suspects, and witnesses not showing up, files “disappearing,” etc., such that we allegedly have cases that have been on for ten years which could have been disposed of perhaps in months. The criminal trial involving former staff of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) accused of killing Solo Sandeng failed to provide justice for the accused and justice for victims for different reasons. The seven accused persons are standing trial on 25 criminal counts, including murder, torture, and conspiracy. They denied culpability. The accused persons have been in detention for four years now. “Justice delayed is justice denied” is a legal maxim. It means that if legal redress or equitable relief to an injured party is available but is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, it is effectively the same as having no remedy.
However, we all know, especially the lawyers and judges, that justice delayed is justice denied. Indeed many people are in custody as Awaiting Trial Suspects. They invariably spend longer than they would if the cases had been tried and if they were guilty and sentenced.
Mamudu: The Gambia Bar Association and the Judicial officers owe it a duty to Gambians to cut these unreasonable delays. It is bad enough that an average Gambian is suspicious of the justice system because it believes it is crooked. It has made worse when simple cases that should be disposed of within a few months take forever. Tonight one feels very proud of what has happened in America in this matter.
Alagi Yorro Jallow