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Carmona winds up in court today
President-designate Justice Anthony Carmona will spend his last day as a judge today, dispensing with several matters in the San Fernando High Court. Among the matters on Carmona’s list will be the sentencing of three accused men, summing up in a narcotic matter and sentence review of two convicted murderers who were remanded to St Ann’s Hospital.
Carmona, who was nominated unopposed to the post of President and is suffering from a bout of laryngitis, said on Thursday it would have been unfair to the accused and a dereliction of his responsibilities if he “simply walked away.” He said he consulted with Chief Justice Ivor Archie who agreed with his decision.
When Carmona convened court, attorney Winston Campbell, on behalf of the other attorneys in court, congratulated him on his nomination. “We hope there is no impediment to you attaining such office,” he said.
Wishing the judge good health and success, Campbell said citizens would benefit from his vast and varied experience. Thanking Campbell for his kind sentiments, Carmona said: “I sought advice from the Honourable Chief Justice on whether I should be here today.
“He felt there was no problem with me dispensing of my matters. He was concerned and I was concerned about the unfairness brought on by persons who pleaded guilty before me. I heard mitigation pleas in some cases.
“I felt that in the circumstances and indeed it would be a dereliction of my responsibilities as a judge, to simply walk away from these matters without blinking an eyelid.” Carmona said he might not be able to complete all of the matters but with the help of attorneys he should be able to complete most of them by today.
“It is my intention that Friday will be my last day as a trial judge, as a judge in this country,” he said. He admitted it had been very difficult to decide whether to accept the presidential nomination as being a judge of the International Criminal Court would be the zenith of any legal career.
He paid tribute to other prominent judges who made great strides in the international arena and former “outstanding” president Arthur NR Robinson. Carmona said if he had walked away without dealing with his matters, it would have further burdened the system.
Yesterday, Carmona was visited by several members of the legal fraternity in his chambers and was congratulated by the forewoman of a jury in the narcotic trafficking matter which he adjourned to today for summation.
Who’s to be sentenced
Today, Carmona is also expected to sentence Kerry Gour, 45, a mentally-unstable man who set fire to his mother’s house in La Brea in September 2005; Carlton Cummings, 80, who pleaded guilty to chopping a man and threw stones at a woman; and Jerome Kendell Barker who pleaded guilty to having two guns. Also, the judge is expected to give his decision in the review sentencing hearing of murder convicts Michael "Mickey" McSween and Luke Gloudon, a clinically-insane man.
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