A St Ann-based attorney is crying out saying there is a “miscarriage of justice” in a case in which he is representing three accused men.
Attorney Everal Webster is representing three men who have been charged and are who have been before the St Ann Parish Court. The charges were not stated when the men should have appeared in court on Tuesday, August 29. The attorney did not give the details of the charges to the Times which asked for them.
The issue, however, is that Tuesday August 29, marked the seventh occasion on which the men who are in custody should have been taken to court but were not brought by police.
When the case was called up by parish judge Vaughn Facey, Mr Webster told the court that the men had been taken to court in a service vehicle and were taken back to where they are being kept in custody. They did not appear in court.
Mr Webster communicated to the court that he was told by the police that the men had been taken back (to custody) as they were scheduled for an identification parade during that week.
According to Mr Webster he had not been informed about any such parade and was told the men were being held in another parish. However he said he had seen the men in St Ann.
On the other hand, the prosecutor said that she was informed the men were being held in another parish and as a result would not have been present on Tuesday.
Mr Webster questioned the reason for the ID parade as, he said, his clients have already been exposed to the public on “three different occasions”.
Mr Webster argued that it is “unfair and unconstitutional” and is also “a breach of my clients’ constitutional rights” to be charged, brought to a “full court room on more than one occasion” and also brought from custody in a marked vehicle to the courthouse, if they were to face an ID parade.
In expressing his frustration toward the way his clients were being handled, Mr Webster questioned the reason the men were being held for an ID parade which, he said “will have no use”.
Mr Webster says one of the three men has already faced a total of nine identification parades and was pointed out in none. He also indicated that each time the men are to face the courts, the police “claim there is another parade” in relation to other offences.
Other declarations by the police are also that fingerprints of the accused were found on evidence in question. Mr Webster, on Tuesday indicated to the court that if the fingerprints were found, the men have no need to face a parade, but should be charged and brought to court.
An application was also made to the court by Mr Webster to say the men have the right to face the court after being charged.
Mr Webster says “the police are playing games with the courts.”
Judge Facey in response to the situation said the “court needs information” regarding the “wheres, whys and hows” of the parades.
After discussions among the police, the judge and the attorney, a court date was set for the men to appear sometime this week.