Dec 05, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – The Supreme Court of Judicature yesterday responded to public criticism that was made about two recent sentences handed down in the court system.
In a statement, the Court noted that it firmly believes in the tenets of freedom of expression and the opportunities to provide for such discussion, while highlighting that such expressions must be guided by accurate data.0
The release stated that on November 20, Devindra Bisoon was sentenced to six months imprisonment by Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh at the Albion Magistrate’s Court for stealing a bale of toilet paper.
At the conclusion of the trial, the release noted, Bisoon was convicted after the Magistrate was informed that he is not a first time offender – the Magistrate exercised his discretion to impose a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment.
The latter matter, that was highlighted in the release is that of Devon Chacon, who was sentenced on November 17 to four years’ imprisonment, by Justice Navindra Singh, for the offence of manslaughter.
According to the report, the accused was released on account of the deduction made for the time spent on remand. The sentencing was also as a result of a plea arrangement between the accused, his counsel and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
In the plea arrangement, the three parties agreed to the term of four years, which the trial judge imposed.
According to Section 4 of the Criminal Procedure (Plea Bargaining) Act, Cap 10:09, makes provision for the DPP to enter into an agreement with defence counsel or the accused (if he represents himself) for the disposal of a
charge against the accused.
In Chacon’s case, he pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter, which by virtue of law gives the accused an automatic deduction of 1/3 of his sentence.
The release noted that the trial judge did not take a sentence out of thin air and that Justice Singh was mindful of the circumstances under which the offence was committed as well as the principles of sentencing.
The Court noted that the judicial function of sentencing is not a ‘one size fits all’ application. There are a number of factors that are taken into account, some of which include the antecedents of the offender, the age and character of the defendant, early plea of guilty, opportunity for rehabilitation, as well as the strength of prosecution’s case and any recommendations made by them.
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