Nov 28, 2020 Letters
The recent four-year sentence for murder (for time served in remand) is a clear case of ill-conceived judgment and lopsided analysis.
There can be no mitigating circumstances – scientific or interpretative – that can allow for any leniency of this magnitude. (Possession of marijuana joint carries a regular sentence of three and half years).
Devon Chacon armed himself with a gun, entered the home of Abdool Subrati then shot him to death. This is clearly a premeditated act so why would any layman–much less a judge—conclude otherwise?
Plain and simple yet on November 17, 2020, Justice Navindra Singh released Chacon for time served; meaning Chacon served three years not in jail but on remand.
In his brief address, Justice Singh said that he did not have much to say as both sides (defense and prosecution) had extensive discussion regarding the matter and knew what has been decided upon.
Devon Chacon was charged for the murder of Abdool Subrati, a Demerara Harbor Bridge employee in 2016.
Chacon pleaded guilty to murder that arose when he invaded Subrati’s home with conniving bandits like himself. According to the dead man’s relatives, the uncivilized gang was firing indiscriminately.
There should be an immediate retrial ordered by the DPP. Meanwhile, the Chief Justice, Chancellor, DPP and Judicial Service Commission should order an investigation into this most bizarre and idiotic judicial pronouncement.
In a country that has one of the highest homicide (and perhaps the highest suicide) rates in the world involving robbery with a variety of weapons, many repeat offenders are often times let loose on bail only to perpetrate further crimes. In Guyana, life seems worthless and the punitive handouts to convicted and guilty pleading accused are a far cry from true justice and the sentencing guidelines laid out by the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Days after Justice Singh’s expression of absurdity, a magistrate (Renita Singh) jails a man for six months for stealing toilet paper.
But this is not a new phenomenon. Way back around 1990, Magistrate Juliet Holder-Alleyne sentenced a man for stealing a pound of cheese (from Geddes Grant, now Courts) for six months. Then, there was a case where a high-ranking military officer in the Peoples’ Militia stole a suitcase of sneakers, which was in Customs, from the now Publisher of Kaieteur News.
He was charged, appeared in front of a city magistrate, apologized and was set free.
I conclude with one of the worst cases of clumsy justice.
The son of a high ranking PPP/C official, driving while drunk, killed a fellow road user, and was charged for the crime.
Causing the death of someone while driving is a felony, even though the killing can be deemed accidental.
However, driving while drunk (also a felony) and causing the death of someone is a criminal homicide charge. The end result for the son of the government bigwig: he did not even serve one day in jail.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine
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