More than all, the Jamaican Government have bone-headedly refused to see that the (criminal-centered, rather than a victim-centered) crime strategy it has pursued, is a contributor to the nation’s runaway murder rate.
Both Political parties have pursued policies which have aided criminals.
Yet they continue to deceive the Jamaican people with band-aid strategies aimed only at their own self ‑interest, rather than the interest of the nation.
Jamaica’s violent crime rate is not going to be remedied with states of emergencies, Zones of special operations, or any other band-aid fixes.
Since the nation declared a moratorium on capital punishment, the posture must be imprisonment for extremely long stretches for violent offenders and offenders caught with an illegal weapon.
The laws employed in Jamaica are aiding criminality. The murderers are winning, while the Government blows smoke up the nation’s ass.
Jamaica has been no stranger to ridiculous sentences meted out to criminals, which do not fit the seriousness of the crimes committed.
Over the last three decades, as the country declared a moratorium on capital punishment, to please its colonial masters, crime has taken a decidedly northward trajectory.
Despite unequivocal evidence that removing capital punishment from the table has emboldened the Island’s criminals, unelected liberal judges continue to thwart the will of the people and allow dangerous criminals to walk with mere slaps on the wrist.
The Island Nation has always had a romantic idealism when it comes to the perception of the supposedly-independent judiciary.
Hardly any Jamaican will believe you if you tell them that there are corrupt judges.
Understandably, it shocks their sensibilities and disrupts the last vestiges of honesty and safety they have created for themselves in their own heads about people with power.
This naïveté suits the trial lawyers, their clients, and the media practitioners who heap praises on the judges for returning the murderers to the streets, as soon as the police arrest them.
In the meantime, gun crimes continue to increase even as the bodies of the security forces continue to be used in long stretches, as they are asked to maintain States of Emergencies and Zones of Special Operations in myriad places across the Island.
In announcing, his latest State Of Emergency, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the country, there are enough police and soldiers to maintain the latest declarations.
Speaking to a couple of soldiers, they told me differently. One member told me that after doing their shifts he and his colleagues were forced to sleep in their vehicle, as there was nowhere else.
No preparation was made for their accommodation.
WONDERING WHY THERE ARE SO MANY GUN CRIMES?
A 19-year-old carpenter, was sentenced to three years probation on each count for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
A 19-old, was sentenced to a fine of $400,000 or two years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm and three years probation for illegal possession of ammunition.
A 43-year-old, was convicted of robbery with aggravation. He was sentenced to 18 months at hard labor, each for illegal possession of firearm and robbery with aggravation.
In the meantime, New Zealand’s government is planning to create a registry of all guns in the country and stiffen penalties on illegal gun sales and modifications. The move comes six months after a gunman killed 51 people at mosques in Christchurch. “Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday, adding, “That means we need to do all we can to ensure that only honest, law-abiding citizens are able to obtain firearms licenses and use firearms.”
New Zealand’s homicide rate in 2014 was (1) per 100,000, as opposed to Jamaica’s which is (47) to every 100,000 people. Between 2007 – 2016 there were 686 people killed by homicide (ie murder and manslaughter offenses) In New Zealand.
That is 686 people killed in a country of roughly five million people over a (9) nine-year period.
Conversely, Jamaica, a country of 2.7 million people records roughly 1600 homicides in a single year.
See information on World’s homicide rates here.
Jamaica is in the company of El Salvador at 83 and Honduras at 57 per 100,000 respectively.
Why Jamaica’s political leadership has refused to deal decisively with the issue of crime and violence remains somewhat of a mystery to many, to the majority of us who served in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, not so much.
The political leadership had scant regard or respect for the police department, and for good reason.
The majority of the senior members of the force were not leaders in the true sense of the word. They were political lackeys, promoted not on merit but on the basis of their subservience.
Data and policy positions come from the (UWI), the University of the West Indies, the nation’s preeminent institution of higher learning.
Policies are arrived at from the pontification of self-aggrandizing idiots who give textbook ideas which are not tested in practical situations and which are generally unsuited for Jamaica’s unique situation.
It would make sense that since they do not respect the police enough to hear from them, they would ask an independent police official from a first world country to come in and assist them with policing policies.
Unfortunately for the Nation’s law-abiding citizens, they don’t they default to their friends and cohorts from the UWI.
The higher echelons of the Constabulary, the Judiciary, the legal fraternity, the media, and every other stratum of civil society is now packed with leaders from the UWI.
Yes, that same leftist cauldron of failed socialist ideology. So there is no diversity of thought. PNP and JLP have differing ideas on how to fleece the nation’s treasury and how to retain power. Nevertheless, when it comes to the formulation of public policy they are all products of the very same dirty pool.
Once upon a time, I would write about their refusal to take the police’s perspective into consideration when bills are being debated.
Not that expert input is considered when virgin legislation is being debated in this country.
There is no need to consider the police when they debate new legislation today. The police hierarchy is no more decoupled from the leftist ideology today than it was two or three decades ago. The police force is now a top-heavy parking lot for PhDs. and other academic types all from the same dirty pool.
In 2018 the Jamaican Judiciary issued a statement through its mouthpiece the Court Management Service (CMS) after senior investigators of the JCF drafted a document which revealed that judges in St James, Westmoreland, Hanover, and Trelawny are opting more for fines, suspended sentences, and probation orders for persons convicted for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
Of course, the sanctimonious hypocrites believe they are above being criticized, and God forbid that the criticism should come from the lowly police.
So they issued their own statement, quite unusual because they previously did not bother to respond to criticisms, they are above it all, right?
“The judiciary has no objection to “appropriate scrutiny” but it should be done in a manner that is fair, balanced, and based on full and accurate information”. The Judges said.
If you have to address being scrutinized, you clearly abhor being scrutinized, after all, you are members of the [independent Judiciary right].
But they weren’t done.
“The judiciary welcomes and understands the public interest in the dispensation of criminal justice, especially at a time when there is heightened sensitivity to the high levels of some crimes in our country,”
“However, inaccurate, incomplete, and unverified information that unfairly generates negative perceptions of sentencing practices brings the judiciary and our system of justice into disrepute and creates a significant threat to the rule of law and the fabric of our democracy.”
The sheer arrogance of this statement, smack of elitism of the first order.
The transparent annoyance in this [form] response from the Judiciary, was an affront to the intellect of discerning Jamaicans who must know that whether they like it or not, some Judges do accept bribes. That some of the sentences being meted out reflects that reality. That regardless of the smoke they blow up the nation’s collective ass, the issue is not just the wide disparity in the sentences, the sentences are wholly inappropriate.
If judges do not like sentencing criminals to prison, they are free to get off the taxpayer’s dole and become defense lawyers.
However, while they remain on the dole, they have a duty and a responsibility to follow the laws, they do no work for themselves, they are servants of the Jamaican people.
As for their supposed independence, that went out the door when Justice Bryan Sykes, was appointed to act as Chief Justice.
So much for Judicial independence, all of a sudden the thin veneer of above-it-all was peeled away, revealing the truth of their little social club.
The crime statistics are not wholly the result of light sentences, police corruption, political interference-incompetence, or the population’s across-the-board predisposition to be soft on criminals, it is a confluence of all of the above, and then some.
In the same breath, there is no greater group of cheer-leaders for the light sentences being handed down to murderers and criminals arrested with illegal weapons and ammunition, than the criminal lawyers on the Island.
As officers of the court, the Jamaican bar has become a disgusting lobby for criminals, in a misguided misunderstanding of their roles as defenders of the innocent and upholders of the laws.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will continue to say the obvious. As Nations across the globe seeks to tighten loopholes to prevent criminals from undermining their societies, the Island nation of Jamaica continues to placate criminals by giving voice to criminal rights lobbies, criminal defense lawyers and taking into account the feelings of criminals while ignoring the rights of crime victims.
It is a shocking abdication of duty, yet it serves the narrow political interests of both political parties and the special interest groups which have made the Island’s murder rate their feeding tree.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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