A group of jurors informed AYV Newspaper in an exclusive interview ‘on the condition of anonymity’ confided that they were facing serious constrains to attend court sittings as the judiciary had done much to ensure that some of their constraints preventing them from attending court sitting on time were looked into.
According to them, they were not receiving anything from the judiciary in terms of transportation and stipends that would facilitate their movement to court, whenever they were required to provide auxiliary judicial services on sensitive state matters before court.
They also complained that before now jurors used to enjoyed befitting status from the Judiciary of Sierra Leone that normally required their services, whenever the court was adjudicating very sensitive state matters, such as murder, robbery with aggravation, the court would ensure that they were kept in secluded area and well taken care of, in other for them not be influenced by any member of the public as and when they were required to return with a fair and unanimous verdict.
One of the jurors told AYV newspaper disclosed that he was residing in Waterloo in the outskirt of Freetown and sometimes encounters serious difficulties to onboard commercial vehicle plying that route to access the central part Freetown and attend court sittings, adding that sometimes he finds it extremely difficult to even get transport fare to and from Waterloo.
They pleaded with the leadership of the Sierra Leone Judiciary to look into their constraints as most of them were not gainfully employed, and that the court should consider providing certain facilities that would encourage and motivate them to carry out their sacred civic responsibility uninterrupted.
Moreover, in 2016 a symposium was organized for judges and lawyers, in which the issue of jurors not attending court sittings came, and that it was suggested that since the absence of jurors was stagnating the trials of accused person or persons standing trial for murder, the court should come up with brilliant administrative approach, aimed at allowing judges to proceed with such matters alone instead of trail by judge and jury.