Previously, as I have noted here, the trial was all about the prosecutor, and the Jamaican government celebrity, money and a distrusted system under one roof. Now that he has been sentenced, it seems this trial will have a lasting effect on the communities. Again, the region still struggles to fight off skepticism when it comes to the criminal justice environment.
I am not under any illusions that the department is not under pressure in recent years to change the criminal atmosphere; however, they alone cannot be blamed for every criminal element that is taking over the region. It takes stakeholders, from the local pastor to community organizations, and leadership in government, to make a difference and this is not just guns fighting guns.
Nevertheless, on a recent visit to the islands, between my walk from the airport to the parking lot, I met two young men wearing tee-shirts with the infamous “No Snitch” printed in bold.
Ronald Moten and his anti-violence group in late 2007 Washington, DC, area tried to break the ice. He mentioned that, sometimes, prosecutors blamed witness intimidation for their failures to win conviction in homicide cases. One famous rapper Cam’ron, as Moten noted, was interviewed on “60 Minutes” about why he refused to coöperate with police after shots were fired in Washington during a botched car-jacking in 2005.