A young lady broke a bottle and stabbed her best friend to death in the presence of the victim’s three-year-old daughter; she pleads guilty and gets 10 years.
A man brutalizes his girlfriend’s father with an axe. His friend transports the body and dumps it on the roadside. They both plead guilty; the killer gets 12 years, his friend gets two. The two girls who were charged for accessory to murder in this situation left on a plane for Canada because according to the DPP, the boyfriend admitted to murder so there was no case against the girls any longer.
These are just two cases in which violent homicides resulted in guilty pleas and the prison terms were less than fifteen years (for more on this, see my columns – Thursday, August 10, 2017, “The evidence of our self-destruction is everywhere”; July 23, 2017, “The cruel, uncaring, indifferent society that never learns”; Wednesday, May 17, 2017, “Sad tales from a tragic country”).
You kill a man with an axe and get 12 years. A year is legally nine months in our prison system. Do you want more proof of a nihilistic wasteland? I met a judge in Survival Supermarket and I raised with him the light sentences he assigns for pathological, gruesome murders after a guilty plea is entered. In similar cases, he is draconian when there is conviction after a trial.
He said, you show remorse, you don’t waste the court’s time. He also said there is a guideline laid down in such situations by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). I plan to look for that guideline. Even if I find it, I am in complete rejection mood against the judicial nonsense that is taking place in this country.
Space will not allow it but I can provide you with literally dozens of examples of unspeakable killings in this land and a guilty plea brings 10 to 12 to 15 years. A convict hardly gets 25 years for a gruesome murder.
Research will show in this country that jail terms for conviction for sex with an underaged person carries between 40 years and life imprisonment even with a guilty plea. I know of one case in which there was finger penetration. Under the Sexual Offence, finger penetration of the vagina of a minor is classified as rape. The convicted man was given 45 consecutive years.
I think there is a mad rush for “blood” in this country for those convicted of child sex. Can this be interpreted as a kind of legal vigilante style justice? Just asking!
Rape is a heinous crime that carries a long prison sentence. However, I cannot and will not accept 40 years to life imprisonment for sex with a minor. This is my way of seeing things in Guyana. In my opinion, it is excessive and exceedingly cruel in a judicial system where the most savage and sadistic murders after an admission of guilt, result in punishment of ten years jail time.
It is happening because the society is calling for “blood” in these under-aged sex cases as if we do not live in the modern world. The very judges that are wont to assign fifty years for sex with a minor and are prepared to give 20 years to a wife killer once there is a guilty plea.
Teenagers are put away for possession of a smoking utensil or for having seven grams of ganja yet two girls who conspired to kill their father and were charged for murder have walked. They didn’t face a trial despite being charged. The DPP discontinued the case.
Article 187 of the Constitution allows the DPP to do that. But should the public accept it? Does the Constitution allow the President to inquire into an action by the DPP that appears very strange?
According to the report in this newspaper, quoting from the DPP’s office, once the two men pleaded guilty, the girls’ trial was discontinued and they were set free. The Kaieteur News reporting did not carry any further explanation why the men’s guilty pleas resulted in the case against two girls being discontinued.
I am learning about the law in Guyana though I remind myself of that famous quotation that “the law is an ass.” Harry lures his estranged wife to his house so Paul and John can kill her and Harry can inherit her property. Paul kills her. John gets rid of the body. Paul, John and Harry are charged for murder. Paul and John plead guilty. Harry does have to face a trial; he is freed. The law is indeed an ass.
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The chartered accountant, Mr. Nigel Hinds, who is a well known letter-writer to this newspaper had a missive published... more
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