Kaieteur News – I have written it on this page twice before, I am writing it again- I will never support the abolition of the death penalty in general. The emphasis is on the word, “general.”
Please see my column of Sunday, January 20, 2019, “I cannot support abolition of the death penalty in general.” I endorse the abolition in specific cases. I could accept sparing the death penalty when in a drunken brawl, a person is murdered. I will not accept the death penalty for treason. I will reject the death penalty for murder if the accused was under severe narcotic inhalation.
My studies of human society instruct me that human society has bred people who are worse than predatory animals in the jungle. A person sees a beast chasing a human and shoots it, then by the same logic, society should execute human beasts. Society’s taxes should not go to support these savages in jail.
I have written on murder sentences in many murder cases which I think cannot survive public criticism and which hardly is replicated elsewhere in the world. I come to another such unbearable situation.
A 14 year old of Helena, Mahaica was charged, when he was 14 for murder. Under the Juvenile Offence Act, his name cannot be revealed. This is not the law in perhaps, all countries in the world. In other countries when he enters court, especially the US, and as an adult, his identity could be published
He committed a brutal murder of tragic circumstances. Sheniza Khan Bhola, a mother of two employed this person at her business place in Cayuni. He and his friend robbed and murdered the woman.
Justice Ann Barlow assigned him 8 years. Please remember at all times that a year of imprisonment in Guyana’s criminal system is not actually a year. It is 9 months. This monster killed a mother trying to make a living to support her children and he will spend 6 years.
He may even come out before 6 years based on what the judge said. I will come to that below. But here is what the judge said at arriving at 6 years. She cited the sentencing guidelines in the Juvenile Offence Act. I haven’t read the guidelines so I don’t know if the judge’s hands were tied by law or she had room to manoeuvre.
If the judge had latitude to up the sentence, he should have been given a time period that involved completion of at least 15 years. There were remarks by the judge that suggest he could come out before his six years if there is good behavior and technical training was even suggested while he is in jail.
So this man robbed and murdered a woman and may come out of prison before six years fully trained in carpentry or masonry at the expense of our tax dollars. I cannot and will not accept that. Society should not accept that. And to add insult to injury, the identity of this savage killer cannot be revealed.
Where is the Bar Association? As an opinion maker in this county, I take the bold step of making an intellectual argument here. I am submitting the thesis that a lawyer detained for ten minutes at the police station here in Guyana while visiting her client is of less a threat to the rule of and social stability than murderers serving six years for violent homicides.
The Bar Association picketed the police station joined by almost a dozen lawyers who never saw it fit to picket on anything in this country but picket over the mundane banality of a lawyer detained by the police for ten minutes.
Of course, there was an underlying political current of those lawyers who mashed up the parapet outside the Eve Leary police station. Has the Bar Association ever made a pronouncement on incredibly light sentence for brutal murders? They can’t because of fear. They have to appear before the judge they write on.
Finally, the sex appeal lust of certain civil society organisations. Have they ever come out against these inexplicable sentences? No, they did not because they are looking for issues in society a focus on which brings sex appeal. The sex appeal theory was propounded by the famous Guyanese politician and lawyer, Ralph Ramkarran. Writing in one of his columns, he directed some of these civil society organizations to important situations in Guyana which should attract their attention rather than concentrating on episodes, incidents and violations the focus on which brings them publicity.
Unfortunately Guyana does not hang sadistic murderers because they are all pleading guilty and getting fat in jail with taxpayers’ money. (The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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