flagWith the killing of the key witness in the Mario Deane murder trial, it is now safe to assume that the trial is as dead as the unfortunate Mr Deane.

The JCF rank and file and the high command must be distraught at these tragic events. This man was, after all, brutally slain while in police custody and right after a verbal altercation with his arresters.

It was not a good look on their record of caring and compassion while housing detainees. I rest safe in the knowledge that the JCF will be hot on the heels of the suspected killer/s of this Crown witness.

Sarcasm aside, the slaying of this witness is yet another mark against the JCF (to add to the already destroyed reputation they have) and cements the fact that this institution is beyond repair and must be disbanded.

Lest we forget, the spotlight of suspicion when it comes to Mr Deane’s death shines on the JCF and they have the most to ensure that this trial goes nowhere fast. Let us assume that the JCF grew a conscience and didn’t brutally beat Mr Deane to death and instead passed it off to the other detainees (and that is where the finger of guilt is pointing to now), that still leaves them guilty.

Let us assume even further that they had a Damascene moment and decided that they would let the bugger get away with the insults and simply left him alone and unsupervised in the cell (something that they vehemently claim). If that were the case, then they still have a case to answer as the gentleman (Mr Dean) was beaten to death while in their custody. Therefore, his physical well-being was their responsibility.

But none of that matters now. The key witness is dead and with him the case. Does anyone apart from his family care? Where is upper St Andrew? Where are the letters and protestations? Is this surprising though, after all, Keith Clarke and his brutal execution (by our beloved JDF) barely got attention until we remembered that the case was as dead as he is.

We do not really care about each other in this nation; we do not really want this crime thing to go away. We are secretly fine with it continuing (shocking though the murders may be) so long as it doesn’t affect us. We are cool with the guns barking so long as they bark elsewhere. We are fine with the excesses of the security forces until they hit us personally.

Mr Clarke got some (albeit a small portion) media attention simply because of name recognition (brother  a former Cabinet Minister). Let that sink in, if no one really makes a fuss if a prominent man in his own right and a man with a prominent family is gunned down by the army then who is going to care about Mario Deane?

This nation is sick, it is deathly ill and I fear that we are willfully blind to it — apathetic at the polls, fighting each other for scraps (see the wage negotiations) and numb to the violence and poverty that stalk the land.

When the body is sick it fights. A nation and its people are no different and the sicker this nation gets, the more violent the fight towards recovery will be.

What will we look like post-recovery, will we allow for more Mario Deane’s and Keith Clarkes or will we change our institutions and how we run this nation? Time will tell, and it is my personal belief that we are fast heading for that time. Justin Williams Authentic Jersey

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