Blatant Biases In The Courts System A Driver Of Crime And Corruption…

Act #1 scene #1

1 According to Jamaican media, Former police con­sta­ble Mark Russell wept open­ly after he was sen­tenced to life in prison for assist­ing in the exe­cu­tion-style killing of a 17-year-old boy in 2007.

He will have to serve 24 years in prison before he is eli­gi­ble for parole.

The 34-year-old ex-con­sta­ble, who was assigned to the Hunts Bay Police Station in St Andrew, was sen­tenced by Justice David Fraser. The judge said that he (Russell) would not have been eli­gi­ble for parole until after 30 years if he had not already spent six years in cus­tody — one year in the United States, where he had fled, and the remain­ing years in Jamaica after he was extra­dit­ed.

Act #2 scene #2

A Westmoreland man who admit­ted his involve­ment in the 2012 exe­cu­tion-style killing of three per­sons employed to Guardsman Security Company today thanked the judge after he was told he could regain his free­dom in 15 years. Twenty-sev­en-year-old Jason Buckland was today sen­tenced to life in prison for the gris­ly mur­ders, but pre­sid­ing judge Justice Bertram Morrison stip­u­lat­ed that he must serve 15 years before he is eli­gi­ble for parole.

Morrison said that was the best he could do after announc­ing the sen­tence in the Home Circuit Court in down­town Kingston. He said he took into con­sid­er­a­tion the fact that Buckland plead­ed guilty and coop­er­at­ed with the police and has been in cus­tody for five years. Buckland whis­pered “thank you” to Morrison and glanced over at a rel­a­tive before he was led out in hand­cuffs.

♥ ♥ ♥

I hold no brief for mur­der­ers, so let me say I am thrilled that the jus­tice sys­tem worked, at least against these two alleged mur­der­ers.
What I would like to briefly respond to, is the appar­ent glar­ing dif­fer­ence in the sen­tenc­ing of the two sus­pects after they were found guilty of mur­der in the same small coun­try in two sep­a­rate court­rooms and by two dif­fer­ent judges.

♦In the one case, there is a cop who alleged­ly betrayed his oath and assist­ed in what has been char­ac­ter­ized as an exe­cu­tion of a young man they say shot at a joint police mil­i­tary patrol.
I was not there so I can only speak to what has been report­ed and ten­dered in evi­dence.
Verdict, 30 years!

♦On the oth­er, there is a sce­nario in which the defen­dant Jason Buckwald plead guilty to assist­ing in tak­ing the lives of not one, not two but three inno­cent Jamaicans who had done noth­ing wrong.
Verdict, 20 years.

In both cas­es, the defen­dants are being allowed dis­cre­tion for time served.
Notwithstanding, the ten years dif­fer­ence can­not be ignored when one con­sid­ers that the mur­der­er who helped to take sev­er­al lives was sen­tenced to a short­er time in prison than the law enforce­ment offi­cial who went out to enforce the laws and is alleged to have tak­en a sin­gle life…
The mes­sage inher­ent here it seems is that if you must kill, kill sev­er­al peo­ple.
Based on this the­o­ry the mass killer will be out of jail in 10-years while the cop who assist­ed in the killing of a sin­gle per­son will not get out for anoth­er 24-years.
What is the ratio­nale for the vast­ly dis­parate dif­fer­ence in the two sen­tences?
As for­mer police offi­cers those of us who spent time in the court­rooms under­stand all too well the bla­tant bias­es which has exist­ed in these halls for decades against police offi­cers.

If this for­mer police offi­cer did what he was accused of doing there is noth­ing that I would per­son­al­ly say in his defense.
Regardless of what an offend­er does, once he is cap­tured the police can­not under any cir­cum­stances begin to phys­i­cal­ly abuse that offend­er, much less kill that offend­er.

Once an offend­er is cap­tured and is placed in hand­cuffs, even if he was just try­ing to kill the offi­cer that offi­cer has a duty to ensure safe cus­tody of that pris­on­er to a pre­scribed place.
The prospect of killing an offend­er who has been cap­tured and as per the alle­ga­tions, was already shot, is out­side of any­thing I can envis­age.
There is absolute­ly no place in a civ­i­lized soci­ety in which that kind of bar­bar­ic behav­ior can be tol­er­at­ed.

With that said the fact that an offend­er con­fess­es to being a part of tak­ing three lives is mon­u­men­tal­ly sig­nif­i­cant.
It is for that rea­son that I have con­sis­tent­ly called for manda­to­ry min­i­mum sen­tences for mur­der.
There has to be uni­for­mi­ty in the sen­tences which are met­ed out for the most heinous crimes.
This must be removed from the hands of judges. Once a per­son takes anoth­er per­son­’s life he or she must know what the con­se­quences are going to be on con­vic­tion.

There are instances where pros­e­cu­tors may ask for a lighter sen­tence for a con­fessed offend­er who has been instru­men­tal in assist­ing law enforce­ment.
That should stop at manslaugh­ter. Giving a triple mur­der­er a 15-year sen­tence then telling him “this is the best I can do” reeks of empa­thy, some­thing a tri­al judge should nev­er express for a con­vict­ed mass mur­der­er.
On the con­trary, the judge over­see­ing the tri­al of the errant cop was quick to point out that had he not already served 6‑years in jail he would have to serve 30 ‑years before he could expect to be paroled, even though he only assist­ed in one killing.

Outside of the fact that the cop ought to have known bet­ter there seem to have been an inher­ent bias against the cop, some­thing we have not seen dis­played against the mass mur­der­ers who on occa­sion do pass through the court’s sys­tem.