This letter is in response to the recent events in the arrests of suspects in the Jamie Cockayne murder. After reading accounts of the bail hearing and listening to people that sat in Judge Kendall's courtroom on August 9, 2007 I can only offer sympathy to every last law abiding citizen of the U.S. Virgin Islands. How can any of us feel safe when Judge Kendall consistently releases suspects accused of heinous crimes on their personal recognizance or low bail? Who can forget that Daniel Castillo was released by Kendall on no bail and while out on his own personal recognizance he is accused of murdering little Laquina Hennis?? And the many other low or no bail determinations by Kendall for others accused of serious and heinous crimes. Judge Kendall considers high bail or sometimes any bail at all punitive and punishment for those accused of major crimes. If there is enough probable cause to arrest a suspect for first degree murder then the suspect should be held with no bail or at least a very high bail to hopefully guarantee he will not flee the territory before trial.
And as for Judge Kendall to make a condition of bail release that Kamal Thomas seek gainful employment and learn a trade at a St. John educational center (by the way, where would that be?) would be laughable if this wasn't so serious. Kamal Thomas appears not to have been gainfully employed before he was arrested as a suspect in the murder, why would he get a job now? And who would hire someone on bail for first degree murder? Please, Judge Kendall, don't insult the intelligence of this community you are charged with serving and protecting.
Why is it that other Judges consistently set high bail but Judge Kendall does not or will not?
Where are the results of the three complaints filed against Judge Kendall with the Commission on Judicial Disabilities? How many more suspects will be allowed out on low or no bail before Judge Kendall is removed from the bench?
The community deserves better on the bench. Do not be fooled that this is a white and black issue. We marched against Kendall for Laquina Hennis and we will march for others whether white, black, Hispanic and others. We are watching your every move Judge Kendall and are keeping track of your poor record.
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