Kaieteur News – Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall granted a murder accused bail after she determined that his constitutional rights were breached by the delay of his trial. I am not a supporter for the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances. I do not approve light sentence for horrible crimes in particular death of robbery victims.
But I definitely support bail in all circumstances including murder and treason. In relation to the death penalty, it should be abolished for homicide done in sociological circumstances.
The obvious circumstance would be a fight during a drinking session which ended in murder. But I can never approve of the abolition of the death penalty when horrible, uncivilised bestial humans kill people, especially children.
Some young men in Berbice invaded the home of an elderly couple, robbed the home and chopped both man and wife to death. Those convicted men should have been hanged. A criminal invaded a home in Berbice, robbed the occupants and set the home on fire and a physically challenged elderly woman perished. That man should have been hanged. Guyana should ignore the EU’s request, and tell the EU to ask their close American allies to stop executions in the US. In Guyana, we should resume hanging.
The resumption of hanging should be a campaign issue in the 2025 general election. There must be a referendum in Guyana to let the Guyanese people decide on the fate of the death penalty. The last hanging in Guyana occurred under the Desmond Hoyte government. That was more than 35 years ago.
I find it comical and repugnant that the European countries want Guyana and other nations to abolish the death penalty but European countries are happy to engage in wars. Surely, it is not only plants that perish in war but humans.
Those who argue for the permanent removal of the death penalty must also advocate that bail must be automatic in all circumstances except where there is compelling evidence that the possibility of fleeing is real.
Natural law demands that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It is a horrible de-recognition of natural law when a judicial official can deny bail and the accused spends years on remand, and then is eventually proven to be not guilty. Life can never give back to that person the years lost.
Bail at all time must be allowed no matter the charge for the simple fact that despite the seriousness of the accusation, the accused may be innocent. The police continue to charge people without evidential foundation.
The police continue to put people overnight in the lock-up in the station when those persons could be innocent. Magistrates continue to impose bail that is so exorbitant that it is a guise for denial of bail. Please see my column of Wednesday, December 28, 2022, “Death sentence on poor Venezuelan just before Christmas.” That article was about a Venezuelan youth who committed suicide on Christmas Eve, 2022 in the lock-up. He was on remand since April for accusation of receiving stolen goods. But suppose he was innocent?
People come up to me all the time and talk about the prosperity that is coming Guyana’s way because of oil money, and my automatic response is; “but will there be a happy life for ordinary people who do not have the resources to secure justice.
I am afraid in this country; oil money will be ubiquitous and we will see oceans of modern life penetrating this country but will poor people be equal before the law? Will the authorities demolish the little stand on the parapet that the single mother has to sell her dog food but right up the road, the wealthy man has a monument on the parapet and it forces you to walk on the roadway itself?
Will poor people afford to pay the enormous bail put on them by magistrates after we become an oil rich economy? With oil revenues flowing into Guyana, making us a top class Third World, will human rights activists be allowed to criticize judges’ decisions without threats of court action? Will only the cars of teachers and public servants be stopped for excessive tinted windows but not the 40 million SUVs?
The bold decision by Judge Morris-Ramlall to my mind opens up avenues of redress for poor people who appear before the courts. I want to end with a story where was quite known in the banana republic of Guyana but no one did anything about it. When you were denied bail in the magistrate court, you apply to the High Court for bail, then, you go to a minibus parked outside the High Court, showed the occupant of the bus the paper, and things are arranged. (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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