The reports discourage a jittery Guyanese populace: another accused felon freed. Usually, it is of the more serious violations: murder or attempted murder, or armed robbery, more often than not sophisticated, automatic firearm. Why are so many walking scot-free?
Those who know better, through proximity to the circumstances, shake their heads knowingly; citizens distant from the crimes wonder what went wrong. In Guyana, what went wrong and why many are set free is rarely traceable to honest mistake or detectable incompetence.
What went wrong, too frequently, rises to the alarm and horror of what was made to go wrong. And it is by those hands that one felon after another is granted freedom to main and to kill (again). They usually do.
It must be acknowledged that there are law enforcement and judicial successes against the garden variety felons: rum shop brawls resulting in grievous injury or death; wedding house and dancehall inspired violence; and particularly when the perpetrators are poor.
Catch them, arraign them, convict them, and put them away occurs. If those same standards (dogged pursuit, careful and skilled case compilation, prosecutorial intensity) were visible and credible in-across-the-board criminal misconduct, then there would be no concerns.
In contrast, what is perceived to be arranged and conducted is one long, squalid story, which cannot stand sharp, intelligent scrutiny: the shadows reach far back and keeps lengthening every day. First, the troubling reminders are there, compliments of the media: an individual was previously charged (or fingered) for murder or a gun-related crime; usually following a current mysterious, execution-style killing, or some lethal home invasion or business robbery. Done before. How and why?
The answers lead to long lists of men and women, who through their activities have contributed heavily to the terrors of serial felons loose in society. They include politicians, police, and professionals in the law; reckless and dangerous politicians from both sides recruited and used ready citizen-criminal-soldiers to execute harrowing deeds. At different times, and from the mouths of different political players and groups, stone killers were rebranded crime-fighters and freedom fighters.
The first truth to dash those outlandish falsehoods is that the perps were not bona fide social revolutionaries, but simply cheap political-criminal mercenaries masquerading under the white flags of injustice and resistance. Some of the surviving killers are still out there: dormant, weighing opportunities, and implementing them. In turn, they have attracted many copycats and followers. Thus, the political authors, it can be argued, are the bigger felons for having gifted this harsh reality to all Guyana.
Then, there is law enforcement. None could accuse its uniformed felons of actually pulling a trigger or decapitating with a machete; or plotting an execution. But like a wheelman, or a safe house provider, too many members the state’s protective arm have been reputed to cuddle, condone, or cover for felons (well-paying) by allowing them to a) evade dragnets; b) intimidate witnesses; c) possess neither fingerprints nor proximity nor identity, with the matter pursued.
Who is facilitator and felon? Who now is less guilty, or the bigger felon, when next the chilling felony is recorded? To ask and answer: it must be those who presented matters in a way guaranteed to result in a verdict that goes one way only: out the door and back to the streets.
The judiciary has its part to perform in bringing sordid circumstances and reality full circle, through a satisfactory conclusion.
Here operates the professionals practiced in who is playing and who is paying. And who in the fraternity are fellows in the great game of judicial patrimony. Once this used to be a rarity; now only the drudgery of the ordinary.
It is the give and take of the fix: deliberate foul-ups; startling interpretations; irrational rulings. Things do not add up; word seeps out of who is on the take and who is on the make.
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