Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) Caution Against Death Penalty

Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 1:17 PM GMT-5

The story of young Rushane Barnett who slaughtered Kemisha Wright and her four young children in Cocoa Piece Clarendon has been the talk of the town since Tuesday, June 21, 2022. 

The 23-year-old who had been taken in by Kemisha after suspicion of lottery scamming committed the terrible deed after a dispute involving marijuana. After his arrest, the accused admitted to the murders and has been in custody ever since.


In a recent post by The Jamaica Star on Instagram, it was stated by the Executive Director of Jamaica For Justice (JFJ) Mikel Jackson, that he is against the petition for Barnet to receive the death penalty for the premeditated murder of five, which includes infants. 

This incurred the ire of citizens islandwide and they took to commenting to air their displeasure. “What if it was your family? Please to have a seat. He deserves no justice,” was one comment. Other civilians who share the similar sentiment stated “JFJ needs to sit this one out” and “nuh wonder killers do what they doing. Cus them have backetive…kmt”. 

Barnet was brought before the Home Circuit Court on Tuesday, June 28 where he was served the notice for the death penalty. He was charged with the murders of 31-year-old Kemisha Wright and her four children 15-year-old Kimanda Smith, 12-year-old Sharalee Smith, 5-year-old Rafaella Smith, and one month shy of 2 years old, Kishawn Henry Jr. 

A report by Nationwide News Network stated that Barnet was not accompanied by a lawyer during the court proceedings and was assigned a provisional legal aid lawyer until further notice. Andrea Martin Swaby, the lead prosecutor on the case shared that Barnet fled the scene with the weapon used in the killings along with other items which he allegedly disposed of during his escape. 

Justice Leighton Pusey presided over the matter and ordered a psychiatric evaluation along with other medical checks to ensure fair treatment. The order may relate directly or indirectly to Mikel Jackson’s words of caution. However, the public’s outrage seems too dire to be quelled. 

Popular media personality and music producer Skatta Burrell takes the side of the masses and comments that “JFJ needs to take the side of the real victims in this. How can you all be seeking justice for the perpetrator of this horrific crime? Where does the grieving families find solace?”.

He continues by stating that life in prison would be too carefree for Barnet as no one takes going there seriously anymore and that’s why young men don’t think twice about committing crimes. He says that until the punishment is harsher and surpasses the crime, things will never change. 

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