Letter of the Day | Call for stricter penalties
THE EDITOR, Madam:
Proverbially speaking, I think it’s time for us to ‘stir the anthill’ as it relates to revisiting some of the sanctions affixed to various offences in Jamaica. I strongly believe that if the punishment aligned to offences such as murder, and even paedophilia were much more intense, then this would serve as an effective deterrent for the perpetrators. It is ridiculous for persons who may be involved in the gruesome murder of others to face minimal jail time, and to be allowed to rejoin society. These are the exact reasons as to why there are so many repeat offenders.
Several cases that are centred around corruption or bodily harm, such as murder, in Jamaica have revealed that the sanctions for the guilty prove to be but a slap on the wrist. The news is usually soaked with numerous cases of our women and young girls being sexually abused, beheaded, and killed in some of the most unimaginable ways. Had there been harsher sanctions imposed for those who are found guilty of these heinous crimes, I am sure that many of these persons would abolish the thoughts of committing such evils, as they would have thought about the events that would follow when they are eventually caught.
While several human rights bodies may lash out against the imposition of certain forms of punishment, there is still need for a uniformed agreement with regards to implementing measures that will serve as efficient and effective methods of punishment for the guilty. Cases of corruption are another type of ‘maggot infested’ wound that needs to be addressed. The case of former principal of Jamaica College, Ruel Reid, is a fitting example. Despite the allegations of corruption against the minister, he was also awarded approximately $23.3 million in settlement. Such outcomes present the Jamaican justice system in a bad light. It is almost as though the system is saying that corruption pays.
The time has arrived for us to elicit change in various capacities, especially in our legal affairs as a nation.