By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
ATTORNEY Wayne Munroe said yesterday that no new date has yet been set for the retrial of Kofhe Goodman.
In fact, it is not even clear how the Office of the Attorney General intends to proceed with the case, although it is expected that a significant effort will be made to keep the matter out of the press amid concern about the impact media coverage had on Goodman’s murder trial.
The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial for Goodman in September after concluding that adverse pre-trial publicity, misconduct of Goodman’s defense lawyer and a jury irregularity meant the case should be reheard in the Supreme Court.
Asked about the ruling in September, Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson said her office hadn’t yet decided how to proceed in handling the matter.
She was asked if her office would appeal the ruling to the country’s highest court, the London-based Privy Council.
Mr Munroe, who represented Goodman in the Court of Appeal, said yesterday: “They can always not prosecute. No one can make them prosecute. The matter first has to be set. Given the reasoning in the ruling, the first issue is to let sufficient time pass from the last set of prejudicial foolishness that was in the news and in social media. The court will also have to appoint a lawyer to represent the accused.”
Goodman had been accused of murdering 11-year-old Marco Archer of Brougham Street. The case caused widespread consternation among Bahamians.
Among other things, Court of Appeal justices concluded that Goodman’s chances at a fair trial had been hampered by adverse coverage, including National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage’s announcement that Marco’s Law would be created two weeks before the start of Goodman’s trial in 2013 even though no evidence or charge concerning kidnappings or sexual assault were made.
Goodman has since been convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment for spitting on one of the jurors who had found him guilty of killing Marco Archer.