Privy Council quashes murder convictions in Shawn Campbell and 3 others v The King


Photo by Francais on Unsplash

Yesterday, the Privy Council quashed the murder conviction of four Jamaican individuals, including the well-known dancehall artist “Vybz Kartel” (aka Adidja Palmer).

Having been sentenced to life in prison in 2014, the Court now found that conviction unsafe on grounds of juror misconduct.

Before the Privy Council, the final court of appeal for Jamaica and other Commonwealth countries, the court heard that during the original trial one juror had attempted to bribe fellow jurors, offering 500,000 Jamaican dollars in exchange for not guilty verdicts. There was no evidence to connect any of the defendants with the activity of the miscreant juror.

The Court found that the trial judge’s decision to allow the miscreant juror to remain on the jury compromised the safety of the convictions. As a result, the case has been remitted to the Court of Appeal in Jamaica to determine whether Vybz Kartel and his co-defendants should stand trial again.

Hugh Southey KC, James Robottom, and Anirudh Mathur represent two of the four appellants with John Clarke (Jamaican attorney) and Saul Lehrfreund, Killian Moran, Bethany Jackson and Kane Nosworthy at Simons Muirhead Burton.

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