Thu | Feb 27, 2020

JaRistotle’s Jottings | Whose lives matter more?

Published:Thursday | December 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The irony of fighting crime in Jamaica is that it is largely a no-win situation for the innocent and the victims. We want the murders and mayhem to cease, but few want to come to terms with the fact that in order to defeat the criminals we must, by necessity, implement appropriate measures to corner, entrap, cage and otherwise rid ourselves of them. The righteous, the bleeding hearts and the wanga-gut lawyers are opposed to permanently removing them from society, and our politicians are too spineless to do what is called for, including the reinstatement of the death penalty.

They speak of human rights and justice, but where should the priority be given: to shielding the criminals who make our lives a living hell, or to protecting the innocent against these criminals? It should be the criminals peering from behind prison bars rather than law-abiding citizens cowering behind burglar bars. It should be the criminals getting their last rites rather than the innocent being bared of their rights. We, more than them, have a right to life and liberty.


Innocent lives matter


Law-abiding citizens, being the majority of the Jamaican population, are the ones who should be getting the benefit of protection, whose rights to life and to justice should be the constant call. Unfortunately, we have become a society of chat, where too many people with selfish motives, misguided beliefs and hare-brained perspectives espouse opposition to the harsh measures required to stem criminality.

Lawyers are largely self-serving, caring about the preservation of their clientele and income generation; victims of crime are just that, nobodies who stand between them and payola. The righteous believe no life is worth taking and have lost sight of the prospect that by taking one criminal life they could be saving multiple innocent lives: they choose to ignore the scriptures when it suits them, but lest they forget, 'an eye for an eye' is still justified.

Then there are the politicians, many of whom are in bed with the criminals, who opt for the easy way out of the death-penalty issue lest they offend their less-than-holy constituents and compromise votes.

With the odds stacked against us, how can we, the law-abiding, hope to reduce our vulnerability to lawlessness or realise any semblance of peace? Hardly likely, I dare say, for unless there is an about-turn, the vultures will continue to walk among us without constraint, and to maim, murder and intimidate at will. We are the ones being punished.


Preventive detention


It matters little to me how we rid society of the criminals, whether permanent or long term, but remove them we must. The justification must remain: the protection of society and the citizenry, and so I have no issues with the concept of preventive detention a la states of emergency or zones of special operations. Detain the known purveyors of crime, as well as those against whom substantial intelligence exists. Evidence can come later, just get them out of our space.

By the way, I am watching to see if the practice will extend to those known, suspected and embattled politicians who are covered in fleas, having lain with dogs for so long.

The chatter about disenfranchised individuals being rounded up and detained without cause is a smokescreen being articulated by those with myopic interests, beliefs and motives. I pray that members of these interest groups never encounter the animals whose cases they are championing while those animals are on the loose and in dem oats: it is not likely to be pretty.

Innocent lives deserve priority protection, not the criminals, and until that becomes a reality, dog nyam wi supper.

Send comments to