Director of Public Prosecutions Garvin Gaskin has been tapped to serve as a judge.
Gaskin was sworn in as the country’s first independent DPP in 2018.
Yet, he participated in the political prosecutions of two members of the former PLP government.
In a blatant act of prosecutorial misconduct, ASP Debra Thompson, the investigator in the Shane Gibson case, called a secret meeting called to “synchronize” the statements of two witnesses. Thompson shocked the country when she admitted that such meetings “happened all the time.”
Gaskin did not disclose this meeting to the defense in a failed bid to shore up a weak case.
This begs the question: Is a win-at-any-cost prosecutor a fit and proper candidate for the Supreme Court bench?
If confirmed, Gaskin will join other former prosecutors on the bench.
Justice is supposed to be blind, but it’s hard to expect—and receive—impartiality from prosecutors turned judges or former employees of the Office of the Attorney General when their former colleagues appear before them.
As part of their jobs, prosecutors develop relationships with police.
Therefore, prosecutors who become judges find it difficult to hold police accountable for misconduct.
At present, two former senior prosecutors are judges.
Senior Justice Bernard Turner was once DPP and Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson served as his deputy.
Justice Guillimina Archer-Minns is also a former prosecutor.
Additionally, Justices Deborah Fraser and Loren Klein worked on the civil side of the Office of the Attorney General.