The Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica has condemned the behaviour of local justices of the peace (JPs) who were involved in the recording of a medical examination of 23-year-old Rushane Barnett, the accused in the murder of a woman and her four children in Clarendon last month.
The four JPs, including medical doctor Andrei Cooke, had come under fire from the accused’s attorney, as well as sections of the public, after it appeared on social media showing Barnett being questioned.
According to the JPs, they were in the room to ensure Barnett’s rights were protected during the examination.
However, The Lay Magistrates Association has now come out to declare that the JPs’ actions contradicted their roles and did not conform to the usual manner in which they were expected to operate.
In also condemning the leaking of the video, they association said: “We hope that this act of indiscretion was not an act of the justice of the peace.”
The Lay Magistrates Association added: “The release of this video into the public domain, whether intentional or otherwise, taints the impartiality of the role of the justice of the peace.”
At the same time, the association sought to remind JPs that they had a responsibility to remain unbiased in the execution of their duties.
It was revealed over the weekend that Barnett has instructed his attorney to seek discplinary action against the doctor and the JPs who were present during the medical examination.