Backlog at Coroner’s Court Causing Distress

Thursday 05th, August 2010 / 09:09 Published by

Some Bahamian families have been waiting for up to 10 years to learn the cause behind a loved one’s death as officials work to reduce the 100-plus case backlog at the Coroner’s Court, The Nassau Guardian can reveal.

Most of the backlogged cases at the Coroner’s Court date back seven or eight years, 2002-03, with one case dating back as many as 10 years, 2000, said Coroner William Campbell. In total there are 115 cases pending before the Coroner’s Court. That number is down slightly from the 129 matters that were in the system as of June.

“Cases are going back for a number of reasons,” Campbell said. “Sometimes you have cases that span across The Bahamas.”

For instance, Campbell said when persons die in some of the outer islands, it’s harder to get witnesses in place and it requires more resources to begin proceedings.

In other cases that have aged, Campbell said it’s sometimes difficult to locate witnesses at all.

Over the past months Bahamians have complained about the backlog at the Coroner’s Court.

Just two years ago when the backlog stood at 157 Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham criticized the system.

“What I find distressing is the number of persons who have matters before a Coroner’s Court or [that] should be before a Coroner’s Court in The Bahamas and nothing is happening on them,” the prime minister said at the time.

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