By Marion V. Ali
Court convictions in the Supreme Court for 2013 were at 39 percent, according to records from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
There is a striking disparity between these statistics and the lay man’s perspective on the conviction rate, primarily as it relates to murder cases.
The figures from the DPP shows that overall in 2013, there were 34 convictions, 42 acquittals which represent 48 percent and 11 nolle prosequi or 13 percent.
Interestingly, the central region, which includes the Belize District, which is considered the murder hub of the country, recorded a higher number of overall convictions. There were 24 convictions, 22 acquittals and six nolle prosequi cases.
Next in line was the northern region with seven convictions, nine acquittals and no nolle prosequi cases.
The southern region showed a poorer conviction rate with only two convictions, five acquittals and four nolle pros cases. Belmopan recorded the poorest conviction rate with only one conviction, six acquittals and one nolle prosequi case.
By the end of 2013, there were 193 persons at the Hattieville Prison, 91 percent of whom were awaiting trial for murder in the Supreme Court.