Miller’s Sentence Though Laudable Is Not A Touchstone For The Justice System…

Yesterday I wrote about the sys­temic fail­ures that are cost­ing Jamaicans their liveli­hoods, qual­i­ty of life, and their lives even.
I laid out the ways that a lack of will to tack­le crime head-on has stymied growth nation­al­ly and has kept the coun­try col­lec­tive­ly, and Jamaicans indi­vid­u­al­ly, from reach­ing their full poten­tial.

Amidst those com­ments, came the news that Gangland fig­ure, and head of the Spanish Town Klans Man crim­i­nal gang, Tesha Miller, was sen­tenced to 38 years and 9 months in prison for being an acces­so­ry to mur­der before and after the fact. Miller was found guilty of the afore­men­tioned charges last December.

West Central St Catherine Member of Parliament, Dr. Christopher Tufton was quick to use the sen­tenc­ing of Miller to argue that the Justice sys­tem is work­ing.
One would have thought that maybe that state­ment would have come from the National Security Minister Horace Chang, or the sup­posed Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, but I digress.
Tufton, a Saint Catherine MP has demon­strat­ed some char­ac­ter in speak­ing out on Miller’s sen­tenc­ing, even though I dis­agree that it rep­re­sents any kind of water­shed for the suc­cess of the coun­try’s crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. Or that it rep­re­sents a sig­nal that it is indeed work­ing prop­er­ly, even a bro­ken clock is right twice per day.
Nevertheless, with­out a change of lead­er­ship in Jamaica house, this mur­der­ous thug, would like­ly nev­er have been pros­e­cut­ed for his crimes.

Said Tufton.….
I have seen first-hand the bur­den that the scourge of crime places on Prime Minister Andrew Holness, as he seeks to find ways to rem­e­dy the country’s crime prob­lem”.
Miller’s [crim­i­nal lawyers] have already start­ed com­plain­ing that the sen­tence is unfair. And we all know that the Appellate court has a his­to­ry of revers­ing the find­ings and sen­tences of the low­er courts.

Tesha Miller has been oper­at­ing as the head of the infa­mous Klansman gang for a very long time, every police offi­cer who has worked in Jamaica over the last two decades ought to know about him, if they don’t, they do not deserve the title of a police offi­cer.
Additionally, based on the lev­el of crim­i­nal­i­ty in Jamaica and the num­ber of vio­lent mur­der­ers run­ning around with­out any con­se­quence, this is real­ly a tiny drop in a large buck­et.
As elat­ed as every law-abid­ing Jamaican may be at these devel­op­ments, regard­less of where they live, this is an impor­tant win for the peo­ple of Jamaica, but it is not a touch­stone for the effec­tive­ness of the jus­tice sys­tem in Jamaica, not by a long shot.

No one talks about a strik­er who scores one goal per sea­son, or a start­ing bats­man who scores 10 runs and is bowled out time and again, plac­ing his team in jeop­ardy.
If the Prime Minister is as con­cerned about the killings as Minister Tufton says he is, then action, is what is need­ed from jamaica house, not words or weep­ing and wail­ing, not thoughts and prayers.
Table leg­is­la­tion that has teeth and forces the oppo­si­tion to vote to keep mur­der­ers in prison. If they refuse to sup­port leg­is­la­tion of that sort, take the results to the peo­ple in every nook and cran­ny, and let them see that there is one polit­i­cal par­ty that refus­es to ensure their safe­ty and secu­ri­ty.

We need truth in sen­tenc­ing. We need to have one set of laws that gov­ern every Jamaican, rich or poor, con­nect­ed or uncon­nect­ed. Powerful or pow­er­less. We need manda­to­ry min­imun sen­tences for vio­lent crimes. We need politi­cians out of law-enforce­ment. We need the dis­man­tling of the gar­risons. We need to repeal the INDECOM Act and redraft a law that pro­tects both cit­i­zens and offi­cers alike. We need to throw out the train­ing man­u­al being used by the police. We need to begin the com­pre­hen­sive retrain­ing of the offi­cers in the detec­tive bureau. We need to edu­cate the pub­lic, start­ing in the schools about the impor­tance of obey­ing our laws.
These bul­let-points are not a panacea to the nation’s crime prob­lem but they rep­re­sent a great place to start.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, busi­ness­man, 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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