Providenciales, 18 Nov 2014 – At least three members of the House of Assembly today pulled out of contributing or voting when it came to the trial with a jury being re instituted in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Most speaking stood to see the constitutional change repealed… to bring back trial with jury. This issue and change had come about in the aftermath of allegations against former government ministers, members of their families and some developers named in the Commission of Inquiry as suspect… among them, former premier, Michael Eugene Misick.
Withdrawing from the debate were his older brother, Minister of Finance and all island member Hon Washington Misick and his nephew, member for North and Middle Caicos, Hon Donhue Gardiner. From the Opposition side, Hon Derek Taylor claimed conflict of interest and stepped away from this debate. The most poignant presentation likely came from the member for Cheshire Hall, Minister Hon Amanda Missick who firmly laid out why she believes the repeal is necessary and how the change in the law was an underhanded move by the British. She said that trial without jury is an injustice and bears a high degree of prejudice. The Home Affairs minister said the measure was never necessary for the Turks and Caicos as research bears out that juryless trials were only meant to be a resource for failed jury trials and not as a punishing stick or as a prejudge before one has had their day in court.
Boldly, she explained that in her estimation: the juryless trial was brought for a specific purpose and only after the actions of individuals were brought into question. The Cheshire Hall member continued with: A jury trial is a legal proceeding where members of the public are invited to listen and make a decision based on evidence presented… she said it brings a sense of fairness and impartiality; pointing out that one on trial is more able to accept the verdict.