For months I have fielded questions from International journalists from Rolling Stone, MTV Iggy and many others about the mysteries surrounding the Vybz Kartel case. Why the delays? Why so much missing evidence? How come the DNA is negative and there is no body, yet there was a conviction? Why were the tampered phones allowed into evidence? How come people are willing to believe that Kartel, already limping from a dog bite, could have jumped over a 8 foot wall chasing a would-be victim (a “would-be” victim who was running for his life from the deejay), yet Kartel caught up to him whilst limping. The would-be victim then flagged down a taxi for himself and Kartel (who he was supposed to be running from for fear of his life), then followed the deejay (again, who he was running from) and sat there with him. To be fair, the prosecution never tried to convince the jury that the dish ran away with the spoon, or that the cow jumped over the moon although I feel they would have believed any scenario where Kartel was made out to be the aggressor; but they did get them to disregard modern technology, especially the easily accessible software that can be used to piece together any celebrity’s voice or/and text messages, arrange them in a certain sequence and create the illusion of a coherent conversation just by splicing and mixing. Consider the popular YouTube video (see the video at the end of this article) in which a Jimmy Fallon engineer took bits and pieces of Brian Williams’ and his colleagues’ news reporting and pieced those fragments together to make a video on them rapping “Rapper’s Delight.” So the bewilderment lasted a year.
However, this week, the evidence being revealed from the Kartel “juror” case is answering a lot of questions. Whilst not naming names here or giving any specific details, let’s just say all the questions as to why a unanimous conviction was attained despite such questionable evidence are now being answered for some who were perplexed before. Those who live in Jamaica know that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for anyone married to a senior member of the security forces or anyone who worked for the security forces in any capacity to not have a conflict of interest in vindicating the person whom their boss, the Minister of National Security, publicly labelled as a major contributor to crime in the country. How could one go home to a police spouse or return to a job with the security forces knowing you just set free the man who accused the security forces of framing him? It made no sense to have these people on the jury if we wanted the appearance of impartiality. One has a greater chance of being struck by lightning than having multiple persons with such affiliations serving on juries multiple times (we now know that the Kartel case was not the first for more than one juror). The fact that these persons intimately affiliated with the security forces were called to sit on a jury where the defense claimed there was a conspiracy by the said security forces is mind boggling. It’s like having doctors and spouses of doctors sit on the jury in a medical malpractice case. Furthermore, we now know that they were planning a party among themselves in Port Royal which excluded the individual who voted Not Guilty. We now know they discussed personal issues in the jury room which got at least one juror upset as she felt they should have been discussing the case instead – yet, they returned a verdict quicker than the law allowed and had to be sent back by the judge with instructions to not return a verdict until the minimum lawful time had passed. All this may seem crazy to the rest of the world but to poor people in Jamaica, we know that when the defendant is a ghetto youth and is constantly blamed for singing slack songs, any card can play but – a jury with a direct conflict of interest – all I can say is; finally, some answers, wow!