A CLEAR INDICATION THAT JAMAICAN AUTHORITIES ARE PAYING LIP SERVICE TO HOMICIDE AND OTHER SERIOUS CRIMES.
Again the Jamaican Criminal Justice System has demonstrated that crime pays in that Country.
Following on the heels of the conviction of Klansman Gangster Tesha Millers just over a week ago and the laughable $100 dollar fine he received in a St Andrew Court room, the courts have once again demonstrated why Jamaica is a welcoming place for criminals.
Look, I am all for mitigating sentences where applicable.
So you ask Mike , please tell us under what circumstances would you want to see less sentences, because you are always asking for harsher penalties?
Well I am glad you asked.
The law states that ignorance of the law is no excuse , that’s a fact.
So let’s say you were caught doing something you genuinely and demonstrably did not know was against the law .
You know, like fishing in a Pond on public lands, and there are no-“no fishing” signs posted, and you are ticketed or arrested .
Of course I would argue for a lighter sentence, say an admonishment on the first offense.
If there is a second arrest for the very same offence then the “I didn’t know” excuse is out the door, you receive the full penalty under the law or as a trial judge sees fit.
The police have long stated that the Lotto scam is the chief driver of violent crimes in the county. They have argued that the large amount of illicit cash flooding into the country as a result of the scam has provided untold wealth to operatives. It allows them to purchase Guns and ammunition and has exacerbated Gang activity overall.
There has been much said about Lotto Scamming both in Jamaica and in the United States . In fact well know American Journalists have traveled to Jamaica from the United States to do stories which highlights the wealth being derived by local scamming operatives.
American Authorities have estimated that each year elderly Americans are bilked out of tens of millions of Dollars by Jamaican scammers, in some cases a single family’s loss may amount to Millions.
The Jamaican Lotto scam has been the subject of an investigation by a joint select committee of the US Senate during the Obama Administration.
Since then the Americans have stepped up their request for Jamaican scammer to be extradited to the United States to face trial.
In fact just this past March a Jamaican judge ordered 8 people extradited to the U.S. for charges of bilking more than 80 Americans out of at least $5 1⁄2 million.
As a result of this problem the Americans have stepped up vigilance and have been far more proactive in it’s approach to what it sees as a serious problem.
The Americans have infinitely more resources to deal effectively with this problem as such based solely on the homicide numbers in Jamaican Authorities ought to be buoyed at the fact that American Law enforcement have been taking this issue seriously as they should.
There are some who misguidedly believe that the illegally gained monies are some sort of payment for some unpaid debt.
As reprehensible as that approach is, it is even more despicable when we consider what the money contribute to local homicide rates.
TWO DIFFERENT JUSTICE SYSTEM RESPONSE TO THOSE CONVICTED
I will document two different sentences , you may draw your own conclusion on the effectiveness of these sentences .You may also decide whether the approaches enhances or hinders the proliferation of crime.
In 2015 Sanjay Williams, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the Jamaican Lotto Scamming scheme.
To bolsters its case against Williams, the US government subpoenaed victims from Madison and Pine Ridge, South Dakota, as well as Minnesota, Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Utah, South Carolina, Alabama and California.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld Williams’ verdict and sentence, saying his rights were not violated and there was sufficient evidence to convict him.
Jason Levy of Rose Heights, Montego Bay was sentenced on April 6th of this year.
Levy was arrested after the lottery scam paraphernalia and $628, 000 were found during a search of a house where he was present. He was subsequently charged for breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013.
He was sentenced to One year in prison or a fine of J$300’000.
Lets assume that mister Levy was caught and arrested engaging in his very first act .
And lets assume that he did not spend a single cent of the monies he derived from this illicit act from which he got the $628.000.
Lets set aside the fact that he was also on bail and was most likely right back doing what got him arrested in the first place.
Now lets subtract the $300’000 fine from the illegally obtained $628’000.
If he was allowed to keep the illegally gained cash he would still have made a clean $328’000.
If the Authorities confiscated the cash he still would have had two years to make untold amounts of cash having been out on bail.
Mister Levy’s sentence basically amounted to US$3’000.
The conclusion sane rational Jamaicans must take away from this is that the Jamaican Authorities either lack the common sense to rationally think things through, even when the nexus is in front of their eyes.
Or they do not care about crime , period.
The penalties for crimes is purely the prerogative of the Legislature.
The fact that penalties for crimes are largely archaic , outdated and subsequently unsuccessful as deterrent to crime certainly cannot be lost on anyone , least of all members of the legislature.
Since the Legislature have demonstrably refused to act, it cannot be construed to be unreasonable to conclude that those in power are not overly concerned about the homicide statistics.
Since the Security Forces tell us that guns coming in are being paid for with scamming money, and since those guns are killing in excess of 1300 Jamaicans each year .
Wouldn’t it make sense to bring the hammer down on those convicted of Lotto scamming?
It really is not that complicated.
I am not exactly sure how much latitude the trial Judge in Mister Levy’s case had , what I am concerned about is the mild sentence given.
If the Judge supplanted common sense with his/her own belief of what is appropriate in cases like Mister Levy’s, then it is one more reason that certain cases must have mandatory minimum sentences written into the penal code.
Additionally the Police must also stop being keystone cops when cashes of weapons arrive on the Island’s wharves.
The Police must operate on the premise that for every one shipment they find 9 others slipped through.
Simply confiscating the shipment is a small victory which cannot substitute for good detective work which would ferret out the people at the top of these criminal empires.
We cannot fight crime in 2017 with 1960’s strategies .