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Accused murderer out on bail, the first for 2019

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Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2019. 12:12 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Yesterday the Supreme Court of Belize granted bail to accused murderer Curtis Lamb, who has been awaiting a verdict in his trial for over two years.

Lamb was in prison for the August 2011 murder of Justin Roaches, for which he was the prime suspect. The trial ended in 2016; however, he was returned to jail and left there until his attorney,  Anthony Sylvester managed to argue, successfully that the wait was unjustifiable and a violation of his constitutional rights.

He is expected to be released by Monday.

Traditionally, those charged with murder do not get bail, despite bail being a right of all accused, and for the most part, that regulation remains. However, in 2017, attorney Oscar Selgado argued that having an accused in jail for an unreasonable amount of time, even if they are charged for murder, is a violation of Section 55 of Belize’s Constitution.

The ruling set a legal precedent and caused a surge of bail applications, with over 20 accused murderers receiving bail within the last three months of 2017 because they had been on remand for four years or more.

As more accused murderers are granted bail, the complaints of the Belize Bar Association about the timeliness of judgments become more pronounced. The association has long since emphasized that justice delayed is justice denied and went as far as to demand in 2017 that Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin deliver his outstanding judgments, over 20 of them, or resign.

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