Two Diametrically Different Sentences In Two Jurisdictions Indicate Their Seriousness About Crime..

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.

LOTTO SCAMMING

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 12 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.

UNITED STATES

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.

JAMAICA

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.

BASIC MATH
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.

Illegal guns flood­ing into Jamaica report­ed­ly being paid for with lot­to scam­ming mon­ey.

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 .