As Saint Lucia continues to experience the impact of COVID-19, the office of Saint Lucia’s Director of Public Prosecutions has not prosecuted a single murder case since January 2020.
“There are over 90 persons awaiting trial for the offence of murder while we continue to struggle with the difficulty of finding appropriate housing for our courts,” DPP Daasrean Greene disclosed.
His remarks came in an address Tuesday during the virtual launch of the 2022 law year.
Greene explained that COVID-19 pandemic restrictions constrain jury trials.
He disclosed that none of the courtrooms could accommodate the number of jurors required to try murder offences while observing physical distancing measures.
Saint Lucia is experiencing the pileup of murder cases against the backdrop of a record number of homicides in 2021.
“I remain hopeful that the difficulty in providing suitable housing for the court will not continue this year and that my office will be in a position to significantly reduce the number of pending murder trials,” the DPP said.
And he explained that it was a matter of great concern that the remand population at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) ‘significantly surpasses’ its penal population.
According to the DPP, the BCF currently has 327 individuals on remand compared to 127 in its penal population.