A defence counsel is calling on the relevant authorities to consider doubling the jury pool in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Jomo Thomas made the call on Friday as he spoke on behalf of the private bar at the closing of the assizes at the High Court in Kingstown.
Thomas said that the jury pool — which stands at 48 — has always been a point that he wondered about.
He said that in less than a month, he did two trials before the court and there were about four jurors from the first trial empanelled for the second trial.
“And I am sure that all of our jurors love to come to court and love to participate in these matters, but I wonder sometimes, if the frequency with which they are called, with such a small jury poll, it is possible, maybe even probable that at least one juror, unless the Director of Public Prosecution chooses to remove that person, could sit in the 12 matters or how ever many matters we do,” Thomas reasoned.
Thomas said that the consideration may be to expand the jury pool from 48 to 96 persons, “which would mean that, statistically, a person’s likelihood of being called would not be so frequent, as we see so often when we come to this court”.
Thomas had earlier noted the role of jurors, saying that he can see that they intently follow the cases on which they must pronounce verdicts.
He said that while, on more than one occasion he may disagree with a decision or two, it is in the jury’s province to make those decisions.
Thomas said the jurors arrive at their verdict, he is sure, with the best of intention to reflect their understanding of the facts, and take in what the judge says is the law.
The lawyer said jurors play an important role in the society and he thanks them for it.