Judiciary Giving Lotto-scammers Double Bonanza: Legislature Must Act Now..

One of the most long­stand­ing issues hob­bling Jamaican Authorities abil­i­ty to deci­sive­ly deal with crime is the atti­tude of the Judiciary toward this vex­ing issue.

Jamaica’s Judiciary though not whol­ly cor­rupt, is cer­tain­ly not incor­rupt­ible as cer­tain quar­ters of the Island’s pop­u­la­tion would have you believe.
We know dif­fer­ent­ly.
For the most part, the Islands judges have long mis­char­ac­ter­ized the con­cept of “Independent Judiciary” to mean free to do as they please with bail and sen­tenc­ing.

The idea of an inde­pen­dent judi­cia­ry and Press are two of the few safe­guards cit­i­zens have against tyran­ni­cal Governments which would oth­er­wise tram­ple on their rights and lib­er­ties.
As such, the press and the judi­cia­ry have sacred respon­si­bil­i­ties to be as judi­cious as pos­si­ble in the way they car­ry out their func­tions.

Jamaica’s Judges Abuse Their Oaths To Aid Murderers And Other Violent Offenders, Fact.….

Both have failed in car­ry­ing out those sacred func­tions.
For its part, the once respect­ed media on the Island has den­i­grat­ed into cheer­lead­ers for polit­i­cal par­ties and spe­cial inter­est groups despite the growth in medi­ums.

The police have long main­tained that judges are far too lenient on crim­i­nals who are brought before the courts. In fact, the archa­ic nature of the Island’s laws makes a mock­ery of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.
Juxtapose that with the mock­ery the judges make of the sys­tem and there is lit­tle won­der at the rea­son crime is so out of con­trol.

The Island’s crime epi­dem­ic can­not be whol­ly laid at the feet of judges, or that of the press, but both groups play a part, as have oth­ers in the mas­sive esca­la­tion of crime on the Island.
The judi­cia­ry has turned the sys­tem into a mock­ery of a revolv­ing door. It releas­es dan­ger­ous killers back onto the streets regard­less of how many peo­ple they kill, the grue­some nature of their crimes or how many times they have been arrest­ed on homi­cide charges and are still await­ing tri­al.

This brain-dead prac­tice has over the years result­ed in a num­ber of prob­lems, not the least of which is per­ceived police extra­ju­di­cial killings, police cor­rup­tion, a break­down in the rule of law, lack of respect for the nation’s laws and law enforce­ment offi­cers, and a gen­er­al reliance on com­mu­ni­ty so-called Dons as more effec­tive enti­ties to mete out jus­tice.
Amidst all of this, the Judiciary con­tin­ue to adopt a pompous atti­tude as it main­tains that bail was nev­er intend­ed to be pun­ish­ment. In the mean­time, the court con­tin­ues the insane prac­tice of releas­ing the Island’s most dan­ger­ous killers back onto the streets as soon as the police arrest them.
According to police sta­tis­tics over one hun­dred and forty of the mur­ders com­mit­ted on the Island this year were com­mit­ted by peo­ple on bail.

Bear in mind that that fig­ure rep­re­sents ‘s only those homi­cides which the police have effec­tive­ly solved and were able to cross-ref­er­ence them by deter­rmin­ing that at the time they killed some­one they should have been locked up in jail.
The num­ber of homi­cides com­mit­ted by peo­ple grant­ed bail is much high­er and is a large part of the rea­son the Island’s homi­cide rate is so high.

It should come as no sur­prise then that since the well-learned judi­cia­ry plays God Almighty by repeat­ed­ly grant­i­ng bail to mass mur­der­ers they would have no prob­lem releas­ing Lotto-Scammers with a tiny slap on the wrist and a smile.
Never mind that the Island’s law enforce­ment agen­cies have repeat­ed­ly said the Lotto-scam­mers are using their illic­it gains to fund the ille­gal gun trade and by exten­sion is respon­si­ble large­ly for the tremen­dous increase in homi­cides.

From my expe­ri­ence, the seri­ous­ness of the charges brought against Jamaica’s crim­i­nals has nev­er seemed to be impor­tant to many of the judges I have seen on the bench.
One gets the impres­sion that their sin­gu­lar focus has always been to find ways to release them back into the com­mu­ni­ties as soon as pos­si­ble.
There is now strong evi­dence that there is a col­lab­o­ra­tive process in place between some on the bench and cer­tain defense attor­neys which includes mon­ey chang­ing hands for pris­on­ers to get bail and for lenient sen­tences.

Reporting on the dis­po­si­tion of cas­es in the Hanover cir­cuit court should prove to even the most loy­al sup­port­ers of the Judiciary that some­thing is rad­i­cal­ly wrong here.
The pal­try fine of $367,000 imposed on fif­teen defen­dants who plead guilty to lot­tery scam­ming is a damn­ing indict­ment of the judi­cia­ry.

Judges Have A Responsibility As Officers Of The Court To Follow And Apply The Law, Obviously Not In Jamaica..

The reports indi­cate that sev­en were fined $30,000; five were fined $20,000 while two were fined $25,000. The oth­er man was fined $7,000 and ordered to pay resti­tu­tion of US$580.
Senior law enforce­ment offi­cial notes that the Law Reform Fraudulent Transaction Special Provisions Act, com­mon­ly called the Lottery Scam Act, pro­vides stiffer fines and up to 15 years in prison.
The offi­cial described the fines as scan­dalous and says they do not take into account the links between the lot­tery scam and the increase in vio­lent crimes in west­ern Jamaica.
The offi­cial also point­ed out that in each case the fines were less than US$200, sig­nif­i­cant­ly less than the fines imposed on Jamaicans con­vict­ed in the United States on charges relat­ed to the lot­tery scam.

Indeed they are.
An inde­pen­dent judi­cia­ry was nev­er intend­ed to be a judi­cia­ry which aids the pro­lif­er­a­tion of crimes, it was intend­ed as artic­u­lat­ed ear­li­er in this arti­cle.
Since the courts have refused to do its job, the Legislature must now act to pro­tect the coun­try.
A judi­cia­ry is not free to do as it pleas­es, it is unelect­ed and must car­ry out its man­date inde­pen­dent­ly from Government, nev­er­the­less when the needs of the peo­ple change and the actions of the courts are not in con­for­mi­ty with the wish­es of the peo­ple the peo­ple’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives must act.

That action must come in the form of manda­to­ry min­i­mum sen­tences for cer­tain cat­e­gories of crime.
It must remove from judges, the dis­cre­tion and abil­i­ty to grant bail to mur­der accused, unless with strin­gent con­di­tions pre­scribed in law.
Those con­di­tions should include elec­tron­ic mon­i­tor­ing, house arrests, con­fine­ment to cer­tain geo­graph­ic loca­tions among oth­ers.
These con­di­tions should only be in law if the coun­try is able to sup­ply the secu­ri­ty forces with the equip­ment nec­es­sary to enforce said con­di­tions.

In this fight to take back our coun­try from the des­per­a­does, it must be all hands on deck. The coun­try can­not afford a few unelect­ed bureau­crats to con­tin­ue to derail our sys­tem of jus­tice.
Judges must be giv­en strict guide­lines to fol­low in cer­tain cat­e­gories of crime. It would also be a good idea to allow Prosecutors to appeal a sen­tence if he feels that the sen­tence was incom­men­su­rate with the crimes an offend­er was charged with.
Finally, Judges must be appoint­ed from the pros­e­cu­tor’s side, the coun­try can ill afford to have the judi­cia­ry pop­u­lat­ed with for­mer defense lawyers.

2.4 Judges should exhib­it and pro­mote high stan­dards of judi­cial con­duct
so as to rein­force pub­lic con­fi­dence which is the cor­ner­stone of judi­cial
3.1 Judges should ensure that their con­duct is above reproach in the view
of rea­son­able, fair-mind­ed and informed per­sons, and that their behav­ior
is such as to reaf­firm the con­fi­dence of the pub­lic in the integri­ty of the
judi­cia­ry. (Jamaica judi­cial con­duct guide­lines).