WHAT was your reaction when you heard that a local parish judge had ordered notorious Clansman leader Tesha Miller to pay a whopping $100 fine, when he appeared before her recently to answer to the charge of making a false declaration to immigration officials? To many, it was a baby slap on the wrist for a serious offence, but some felt otherwise. At least two well-known public commentators (writing in the Sunday Gleaner) weighed in on the issue last week, drawing reader attention to the Jamaican law books that urgently need to be updated:
“Charging a man ‘tin mackerel’ money for such a serious matter as making false declaration to immigration officials will just not cut it. But this is just not on the watch of [Justice Minister Delroy] Chuck alone. The responsibility lies at the feet of the lazy politicians on both sides of the aisle over many years.” – MARK WIGNALL
“Yes, it was a minor offence, a peccadillo, but that is the depth of the evidence. Is this a waste of time? It deeply bothers me that it can be inferred that the judge wished to see a major fine for a miniscule offence, maybe because of the stature or reputation of the accused. Judges must not be starstruck by the defendants before them. So, yes, Parliament is sleeping and needs to quickly revamp our laws in the face of international terrorism. However, if Miller is guilty of other offences then let the willing citizens with evidence assist the police in procuring it.” – DR. ORVILLE TAYLOR
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