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.
” 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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