The Jamaican Justice Minister told the Nation’s Parliament that he is asking the Parliament to amend laws to allow convicts who have abandoned criminality [for an extended period of time](sic) to have their records expunged.
In seeking to make his case, Chuck told Parliament of a man who was charged with murder, convicted of manslaughter, but turned his life around and has been preaching for the last 25 years.
Now I do get the need to clean up the backlog of cases on the court’s dockets, another issue Delroy Chuck spoke to in his address to the Parliament last Tuesday. What I find offensive is Chuck’s strategy, which is to toss cases which have been on the dockets for five(5) years or longer.
Even Murder cases.
I do understand that persons charged under the penal code have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. Notwithstanding, it is important to acknowledge that in some cases the reasons cases are delayed inordinately are based on (a)some suspects inability to pay their lawyers, (b) Deliberate stalling-tactics by defense lawyers, (c) defense witnesses cannot be found, etc.
In fairness, it is also true that for every reason those cases are delayed by the defense’s side, there is a prosecution delay as well.
Nevertheless, as I have pointed out in previous articles on this subject, allowing Chuck to attach an artificial timeline to the disposition of cases thereafter creating an excuse to toss cases and allowing violent criminals to walk free, spits in the faces of crime victims and does a grave injustice to the system of justice in our country.
It is antithetical to the rule of law and is by nature another accelerant to the culture of crime which has infected the country.
Simply put, this practice is an encouragement for criminals and their criminal/lawyers to usurp the system of justice even further without consequences.
In making his case, Delroy Chuck referenced a man who committed murder but got convicted on manslaughter. He argued that the man is now a Minister who wants his record expunged.
But the arguments he raised in support of expunging that murderer’s violent past, quote; “This pastor, however, cannot get his records expunged because the act does not currently allow for it, “and that is the sort of person we’d want to be expunged.”
Seems to me this man is doing just fine. He has found God, he is a Minister, his victim is gone and has no second chance.
In what is a multi-pronged approach by the JLP Administration, Jamaicans not engaged in criminal conduct must be awake to these facts.
On the front end, the Administration has all but rendered the police ineffective based on its disrespect and regressive policies and postures.
In the middle, it is engaged in tossing cases that have been stalled in the system, sometimes through no fault of the state as I have shown above, while opening up a broad channel for more abuses of the right to adjournments all aimed at running out the clock by way of Chucks artificial five-year timeline.
And on the back end, despite the myriad difficulties in securing convictions for violent felons, they are actively creating the impression that these murders never happened by wiping clean the criminal records of violent murders, all on another Delroy Chuck created Timeline.
It is important that every Jamaican who cheer for this, do understand that I am not opposed to people with non-violent infractions having a fresh start. For example with the loosening of the marijuana laws, there is no reason that one could reasonably oppose someone who was arrested on a marijuana offense receiving a second chance.
However, violent offenses, up to, but not confined to, murder cannot simply be swept under the carpet as if they never occurred.
HERE IS WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
These are the kinds of half-ass measures which are designed by politicians to curry favor and secure votes.
They are bad policies which seem reasonable at face value. In a country like Jamaica which has such high tolerance for criminal conduct, these policies are bound to find favor.
The fact is that the Island’s political leaders do not care about the inordinately outrageous murder statistics as long as they hold onto state power and retain the ability to feed at the slop trough.
But to the Jamaican people who are not out killing, raping, shooting and stabbing others, these policies will have devastating consequences for them.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, or to say ‘I told you so.”Nevertheless, far too many of the things I warn about are happening in front of our eyes.
Law-abiding Jamaicans must be prepared for the following.
As soon as word gets out, (and get out it will), because we will continue to report on this, other countries, a-la the US Canada and the United Kingdom will pull up the welcome mat.
These countries are purging themselves of people for minor drug infractions and illegal entry.
I am dead certain they will not be looking to import convicted murderers from Jamaica who has had their criminal records expunged politically.
Every potential employer has a right to know the history of a potential employee.
Every person who works in a company deserves to know that his or her co-workers are not murderers who have had the past cleaned up by corrupt politicians.
Every family with children has a right to know that the person who moved in next door is a sex offender. When Delroy Chuck, a criminal enhancement tool, pushes those policies, he is endangering your children.
Why would we create policies which further puts innocent children in harms way?
The Delroy Chuck JLP plan takes away all of those (right-to-know) from every decent law abiding Jamaican.
One of the reasons that the United States, for example, have declared some nation states, failed states, is exactly because their governments cannot be trusted to account for their citizen’s past behavior. I wonder how these western powers will react to Jamaica wiping away murder and other violent felony convictions?
If these nations cannot determine the history of Jamaican citizens will they really trust that man or woman, those visa applicants, aren’t sanitized, murderers?
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