R v Miller

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeThorne, J.
Judgment Date17 Feb 1994
Docket Number106/4 of 1993

Supreme Court

Thorne, J.

106/4 of 1993

R
and
Miller
Appearances:

Cleopatra Christie, with James Thompson, Jr., for the Crown.

Lloyd C. Johnson, for the accused.

Practice and procedure - Sentencing — Manslaughter — No previous conditions — Two years served awaiting trial — Sentenced to twelve years imprisonment.

Thorne, J.
1

A portion of a jury trial having been called during the criminal sessions of the Supreme Court, Nassau, Bahamas, on the 10th day of February, 1994.

(Court reconvened at 4.00 PM) (Jury returned at 4:03 PM)

2

THE CLERK: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, will your foreman please stand Have you reached a verdict?

3

THE FOREPERSON: We have.

4

THE CLERK: On the count of murder, guilty or not guilty?

5

THE FOREPERSON: Not guilty.

6

THE CLERK: How do you stand divided?

7

THE FOREPERSON: 8 to 4.

8

THE CLERK: On the count of manslaughter?

9

THE FOREPERSON: Guilty, 8 to 4.

10

THE CLERK: Guilty, 8 to 4.

11

THE COURT: Ms. Christie, is there anything known about the accused person?

12

MS. CHRISTIE. There is nothing known.

13

THE COURT: Cephas Miller, the jury have found you guilty of manslaughter, and, Mr. Johnson, I think I'll fix Thursday next for sentencing.

14

Do you wish to make your plea today or on Thursday?

15

MR. JOHNSON: I would prefer Thursday. I would need to consider a couple of things.

16

THE COURT: On Thursday. That will be the 17th of February.

17

MR. JOHNSON: What time, my Lord?

18

THE COURT: 10.00.

19

MR. JOHNSON: I'm obliged.

20

THE COURT: Madam Foreman and members of the jury, thank you for your services on this case. It has not been an easy case I know, and I think you did a very good job.

21

The next case is fixed for Monday, so would you please return on Monday at 10:00.

(Court adjourned at 4:07 PM)

SUPREME Court

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

22

I, ALEXIS DAVIS, Official Supreme Court Reporter, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate transcription of my stenographic notes in the matter of The Queen v. Cephas Noel Miller — 106/4/93, held 8 on the 10th day of February, 1994.

ALEXIS DAVIS

Official Supreme Court Reporter

23

A sentencing having been called during the criminal sessions of the Supreme Court, Nassau, Bahamas, on the 17th day of February, 1994, commencing at 11:35 AM.

24

THE CLERK: Queen v. Cephas Miller.

25

THE COURT Mr. Johnson, perhaps I should ask the accused, Cephas Miller, the have found you guilty of manslaughter. Is there anything you wish to say before I pass sentence? Your counsel will speak for you?

26

THE CONVICT: Yes.

27

THE COURT: Yes, Mr. Johnson?

28

MR. JOHNSON. May it please you, my Lord, the accused, Cephas Miller, was convicted of manslaughter a week ago Thursday by the jury. The verdict was eight to four, my Lord. Cephas Miller is 44 years old By profession, he is a teacher, and he had so been for some 22 years, and that includes service, my Lord, in various family islands, i.e., Exuma, Eleuthera, Aklins and lastly in New Providence. He was married, a father of three children. His religion he said is Pentecostal. Some people call it the Church of God.

29

My Lord, I have explained as best I can the finality of the jury's verdict to Mr. Miller, and even at this stage, he cannot recall, according to him, the events of that fateful day. He has asked me to express to the Court his sorrow, his word, his sorrow. That is as best he can describe it, his sorrow, because of his confusion. Everything was just bumbled over in his mind. He calls it total confusion, and for that, he is indeed sorry.

30

My Lord, the offence is a serious one. Before this incident, my Lord, there have been no previous convictions of any kind for Mr. Miller. I think the one recorded incident against him, I think, was on the same day. It might be part — not part of that one, the occurrence of the same day, when he was in this total state of confusion.

31

My Lord, I'm not clear in my own mind as to what is the Court's function in all of this when it comes to sentencing. I believe I might have read somewhere that there is some movement towards having the accused person rehabilitated. Some people might say, well, punishment, on the other hand. He, himself, Mr. Miller, has said that if these things happened, he can't be expected to go free.

32

Punishment or rehabilitation, my Lord, I guess that's a question for you, my Lord, but I would ask you, my Lord, to take into consideration in passing sentence upon him the fact that he had been in Fox hill on remand since November of 1991. He has been sentenced to serve a period of five years, and I would respectfully ask you, my Lord, too, if you are minded to pass sentence upon him, to let the sentences run concurrently.

33

My Lord, the question of treatment, medical or mental treatment, I can find no helpful enactment to assist the Court, but this don't seem to be one of those cases where an order can be made to commit him to an institution to receive mental health treatment, and I think it follows then a straight term of imprisonment is in order if your Lordship is so minded.

34

My Lord, the very fact of the jury bringing a verdict of manslaughter is, in my humble way, a mitigating factor.

35

My Lord, if there is hope that Mr. Miller can rehabilitate himself with the help of the professional personnel at the prison service, I would humbly just ask that you be as lenient, my Lord, as the justice of the case, I think, would require. I know that there are public interests to be satisfied. The public must be taken into account in these matters, but I think the notion of prison being a place to rehabilitate persons who can be rehabilitated, and Mr. Miller from all we have heard has been a very active member of society. He has played, coached,...

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