The Caribbean Court of Justice, Guyana’s final appellate court, has, on the 19th of August, 2022, lost credibility as an independent and impartial instrument of justice when Justice Denys Barrow sent murder convict, Jarvis Small, walking out of the courtroom a free man.
Overwhelming evidence proved that Jarvis Small and Shareema Gopaul cold-bloodedly murdered then sixteen year old Neesa Gopaul and dumped her body into the Madewini Creek in the year 2010. The motive for the murder appeared primarily to get possession of the house which Neesa’s father had bequeathed to her in his will.
The duo was originally sentenced to life in prison. However, the Appeals Court in Guyana last year (2021) reduced the sentences of Jarvis Small and Shareema Gopaul to 45 years each. Today, 19th of August, 2022, the Caribbean Court of Justice reduced Shareema’s sentence to a mere 25 years while sending Jarvis Small out into the world a free man.
The CCJ said the High Court’s sentence and the manner in which it did violated the constitutional right to a fair hearing and tantamount to inhuman and degrading punishment.How come the CCJ didn’t make any reference to the inhuman and degrading way in which Neesa Gopaul was murdered?
This disgraceful and inflammatory act by the Caribbean Court of Justice has led many to question the integrity and impartiality of its members. It raises questions as to whether elements within the CCJ are involved in acts of bribery and corruption. In the eyes of many Guyanese who are emotionally attached to “the crime that shook the nation,” the CCJ has lost all credibility as in instrument of justice.