JUDGE : For Yourself.

BuildingK20120214NG I had a conversation this morning with a retired Jamaican teacher, I have the greatest regard for this lady, she is very pleasant and likeable,  for me there is just something about someone who has the patience and dedication to spend their life educating others.

She was a little angry but determined that she wanted to return to Jamaica and find a way to do something about the way children, seniors and the destitute are treated, she expressed exasperation and trepidation as to whether or not she could actually make a difference. I told her truthfully, I had no way of knowing whether she would be impactful or not, but if she decided to do nothing then she definitely will have no impact. I told her Rosa Parks definitely made a huge impact  by just sitting down.

I struggled with that as a young police officer in Jamaica, was I making a difference? I ultimately concluded that yes I was making a difference, however the difference I wanted to make was not going to be accomplished if I stayed with the Department.  I  concluded  that had I stayed I would have  been  beholden and answerable to the archaic inane system to which I was repulsed and opposed. Ever since I departed I have struggled with the question of how can I make a difference in a system where even those charged with being the guardians of the rights and interest of the people are the very ones limiting and violating those rights?

Every Jamaican, at home or abroad, knows that their political  leaders are sometimes the very people who supply guns and ammunition to their neighbors to intimidate and kill them. Which allows them to stay in office, where they  perpetuate the vicious cycle that keeps them, family members and friends well off . Yet the same criminal politicians are the ones with the responsibility  to draft and enact legislation that would make it bad business for those whose business it is to commit crimes. Do you beleive criminals are going top put themselves in Jail?

Sources on the ground has confirmed  to me that the only reason Politicians are not giving guns to community activists like they are used to is simply because the activists have their own guns and do not need anything but political cover from politicians anymore. So they have not experienced an awakening as some believe,  the gangsters just have their own guns , plain and simple. Even so, some are still ensnared  and entangled with street criminals who are killing their fellow Jamaicans .

What makes this former teacher’s frustration so relevant for me is the fact that I share the same frustration about the crime situation in our country and the lack of will to take the necessary steps to once and for all establish the rule of  law as the corner-stone of our fledgling democracy. As is customary we seek to point out the facts so you can come  to your own conclusions, and as is customary we are compelled to point to the glaring disparities in the criminal justice system as it regards  how criminals are treated . This runs the length of the process from the way they are perceived when they commit heinous crimes to the way police are scrutinized when they are captured or killed, to the sentence given them on the rare occasion they are ever convicted . As such, we have written a series of blogs called Jamaica’s mad liberal judges. We do not write because we are opposed to the Judges , but because we are opposed to the kid gloves with which they treat criminals, there are numerous cases, too many to mention, where the interest of criminals and those who support them take precedence over crime victims. We feel this is an affront and is tantamount to punishing the victim. Criminals in Jamaica start off with a huge advantage, from the general population to the last court of appeals in the country , there is a stomach and an appetite of  leniency toward even those who have committed the most egregious crimes and do so over and over again.

This has bred a don’t care attitude in some police officers.  It creates a public that is more satisfied with the jungle justice dispensed by local thugs, which is usually swift and decisive, or mob justice which includes multiple members of a community taking the laws into their own hands . Generally with the sentence of death being the verdict for all infractions, offences that can range from a traffic accident where a car hits a well liked member of the community , to robbery or murder, it doesn’t matter the offender is given a death sentence and the sentence is carried out with ruthless and brutal alacrity. If we choose to ignore the fact that the criminal justice system does not work for anyone, that it erodes the trust citizens had in the rule of law and the power of the state to protect them , to the point they believe reporting crimes to the agents of the state is a waste of time , and they are better served going to the local (don) then we risk slipping deeper and deeper into the abyss of anarchy daily.

There are those who  argue that each case rest on its own merit, we agree. There are those who argue that a trial Judge knows the case and the evidence in each case and as such he or she is in the best position to make a judgement call one way or the other. We agree. There are those who argue Judges should have free rein, without proper safeguards in place, and that they should be allowed to adjudicate without oversight from any other branch of Government. We disagree.

Even though members of the judiciary may not be as corrupt as other leaders in other parts of Government, giving them carte-blanche in the dispensation of judges without no imput from the people through their representatives in parliament, does exactly what we say we do not want ,we end up with corruption, only  from different people. Those who argue for an unrestrained Judiciary say they so argue because they are afraid of political interference , fairly reasonable argument to make , but if we allow judges to operate without oversight and restraint we end up creating the very system we say we do not want, we end up creating little gods who are answerable to no one. Their lordships.

Jamaican Judges are  answerable to no one, and as such we have seen the system denigrate to where we are today as a nation, dangling precipitously close to the abyss of being a failed state. Crime and terror is rampant, there is no understanding or will to eradicate it from our country, those who lead loves it the way it is , after all a population that do not know it deserves better, probably do not deserve better.

As is customary whenever we come across a case where  we feel a judge has crossed the line and has betrayed the trust placed in him/her we highlight the case, we comment, but ultimate you are the ultimate judges, and it is you who should decide if we are reasonable in our assessment of Jamaica’s judges.

Daily Gleaner story highlighting this man.

                      Judge David Fraser

This Judge sentenced a man who brutally raped a 12-year-old girl strangled and buried her when he thought she was dead to 12 years in prison.

Twelve years, as brutal and heinous as the crime of rape is , let’s put that aside for a second , this man tried to kill this child, then buried her, which demonstrates that in his heart he felt that the deed of “murder” was committed, he then went to the next step that applies when someone kills another , disposition of the body, he did that.

Based on his actions this man raped this little girl, killed her (in his mind) then buried her, she bravely clawed  her way out of the hell he placed her in only to be raped once more and abused by Judge David Fraser, and the criminal justice system.

Jamaica’s chief Prosecutor Paula Llewelyn and members of the Police Force and most importantly the mother of the little girl felt they were once again left hanging by the all-mighty Judge Fraser.

Here’s what Llewelyn had to say.

Sentencing is the sole prerogative for His Lordship, the judge,” Llewellyn said last week Friday. She said when she got the report from the crown counsel in the case, she was somewhat surprised and saddened because “in this matter, the facts to which the accused man pleaded guilty are extremely grave”. She was, however, quick to point out that the normal protocols that obtain between Bench and Bar would prevent her from making any further comment on “this unfortunate scenario”.

Natural protocols that obtains between Bench and Bar she said.

All Prosecutors and Judges in Jamaica are lawyers, if anyone wanted a clear and unequivocal feel for where the ordinary man stands in all of this, the above statement/slip of Paula Llewelyn’s tongue is proof positive that they do not matter.

My whole feeling about this as I have always felt,  this connivance between Bench and Bar amounts to nothing more than “bull shit” for the average citizen.

Here lies ladies and gentlemen the reason why Judges must be given strict guidelines when they are dealing with serious crimes like the ones in this case.

This poor young girl  has been brutally raped and buried once again by arrogant Judges that gets refereed to as quote “his lordship”.

Judge for yourself