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criminal justice

By Lucie Lucy

(Initially published on Facebook under the caption “Let the judiciary do its work when it can”)

Many of us are saddened and even outraged over the “wickedness” of the judiciary in imposing a jail sentence on a citizen in response to his jail sentence for stealing EC$10 worth of dasheen. But I think it is an important sentence.

I am not insensitive to the truth that many who ought to be convicted and sentenced get to either not face their day in court due to the grinding of the political machinery or due to respect for the privilege enjoyed by miscreants and assorted criminals. Yet, the judiciary must be allowed to work when it can.

I think it is thoughtless to import examples of poor functioning within the judiciary to pump up sympathy for theft. Tempting but not mindful.

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We seem to want to ignore the impact of praedial larceny on our fragile society. Larceny used to be important. I am old enough to know about people in my childhood rural community who were shamed, convicted and who served time for stealing 2 nutmegs from area estates.

Believe it or not, there was actually a time when boldface teefing was not a hobby practiced by leaders and upheld by leaders.

There was a time when public servants and employers of agencies of state used to steal from the state, get fired for stealing and members of parliament did not have the nerve to rebuke the firing. Let us let the judiciary do its work when it can.

There was a time when the senior public servant who presided over the dismissal of the thieving employee who was caught red-handed did not have to find himself in a confrontation-arbitration setting before the prime minister.

There was a time when the public servant who “teef blind” in the course of employment did not get rewarded by a brand new job in another wing of the public service due to the privilege of political expediency and live to dig out taxpayers’ eyes yet another day.

There was a time when SVG’s values included integrity. I am not talking about the integrity that was supposed to help us see the back of the national wood lice 100 days after this regime came to power. I am talking about good societal values as opposed to the doctrine of vengeful, twisted charlatans. I am not talking either about the knee-jerk compassion because it is only ten dollars worth of dasheen. I am talking about compassion for the farmer or the vendor or the householder who is not relying on political protection and whose plight has come to the Court.

This citizen with the dasheen needs to serve time. The Morgans need to serve time too; all three of them, hijinks and entertaining side shows notwithstanding. They need to know that political protection could and does wear thin and that what they have been seeing all these years is not real for them.

Let us let the judiciary do its work when it can.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

2 replies on “Jailing $10 dasheen thief was right thing to do”

  1. If someone steals $10 worth of food then that someone must be hungry. I can’t see the sense in locking up a man for stealing ten dollars worth of food for three months of his life. Another person is put in a mental institute for using obscene language. This from a people who doesn’t use simple language. One has to look up some of the words in a dictionary to understand what is meant. Intellectual Idiots.

  2. Ah who dis ya. How can you send a person to jail for stealing a dasheen? God darm, have some conscience, if that person wasn’t hungry, you think he would’ve stole it. Darm, it’s food, you pass it out as shit at the end of the day. What he did was wrong but a better punishment would been better. How much is taxpayers money is going to used to feed and shelter him? I hope it’s not more than $10.00.

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