Calaney Flowers has been freed once again by the courts after the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the not-guilty judgement handed down in 2017. The case which is over seven years old began unfolding on August 28, 2012 when Flowers drove her car on Freetown Road, hitting her ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend off a motorcycle. Flowers was arrested and taken to trial. She was acquitted and immediately left the country. She was forced to return, however, when the DPP appealed the acquittal. The matter went before the October session of the Court of Appeal and a ruling was handed down today. Our Court Reporter Johnelle McKenzie spoke with her Flowers’ attorney, Anthony Sylvestre.
Anthony Sylvester, Attorney at Law: “Upon being engaged and we started doing our research we realized and it became apparent to us that the director the DPP does not have a right to appeal an acquittal where there is a full trial- that right is usually only engaged where the acquittal is done at the end of a prosecution’s case where the judge would have directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict. But where has occurred here there was a fully trial so the judge looked at all the evidence, looked at the witnesses, determined the reliability and believablility of the witnesses and at the end of the day decided ‘okay I find you not guilty because I believe this witness as opposed to that witness.’. That has never been a type of acquittal that the DPP could ,throughout our legal system, could appeal and so that point was made and as you were in court and you saw the justices of appeal and the president they took the point and they decided in our favor. As was pointed out by the court clearly at this point in our history it would appear that there needs to be legislative amendment to address situations where at the end of a trial the prosecution may believe that ‘well you know we do not agree with the decision that the judge made and we would want to have such a right.’ because it’s equivalent to a situation where a person was charged before a jury and the jury found the person not guilty after considering the evidence; historically the DPP couldn’t appeal that and so similarly that obtains even in a non jury trial and so that were that to change there would need to be legislative changes so parliament, National Assembly, the policy makers would have to sit they would have to brainstorm and come up with a piece of legislation to try to deal and address with that.”
It is uncertain if the DPP will once again appeal the matter. Sylvestre says that the DPP has about seven weeks to decide.
Anthony Sylvester, Attorney at Law: The DPP they would still have a right to appeal the decision just being made by the Court of Appeal. Such a decision can be made within forty two days from the date when this court, the Court of Appeal actually produces it’s written decision. So that is a foreseeable possibility but of course I can’t speak to what possible options the DPP may or may not wish to take at this point in time but as a matter of law that is a recourse that they would have.”
Flowers’ ex-boyfriend, Lyndon Morrison died in the incident while the girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa survived.