udge S. Geevon Smith of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County
Judge Smith Free 15 Pre-trial Detainees
By Chris Nyenapee, LINA Grand Gedeh Correspondent
ZWEDRU CITY, March 31 (LINA) – The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, under the gavel Judge S. Geevon Smith has set free 15 pre-trial detainees from the National Palace of Corrections in Zwedru.
A letter from the court signed by Judge Smith ordered the Director of the National Palace of Corrections to release the fifteen detainees from further detention without delay.
Nine of the 15 detainees were jailed for theft of property, while the rest were charged with crimes including rape, burglary and assault.
They have been in jail for more than two terms of court, something judicial staff and civil rights advocates like the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Carter Center and Public Defender Mike Karngar have been raising concerns about.
Judge Smith told the detainees in open court, before setting them free, to see their release as an opportunity to change those bad habits for which they were accused and sent to jail.
“Those who accused you, have failed to appear and prove your guilt, and this has left this court with no other alternative but to set you free. Go and sin no more, as we can no longer keep you in detention away from your families without having your day in court,’’ Judge Smith said.
The freed men all nodded in acceptance of the admonition from Judge Smith.
The National Palace of Corrections, intended to transform convicts, is holding a large number of pre-trial detainees, according to judicial sources.