Take hard line against criminals
THE EDITOR, Sir:
We've been pussyfooting with crime for far too long. The record will show that I've long advocated a temporary suspension of some of our civil liberties even before the commissioner of police made his pragmatic suggestion.
Jamaica's crime situation is unique, and as a sovereign nation, we MUST NOT allow lawyers, human-rights and other advocacy groups to hamstring us while we wait on the altruism of terrorists.
National Security Minister Peter Bunting and Police Commissioner Carl Williams need to get the legislators to aid in the fight to make criminals and those who harbour, aid, and abet them afraid.
Jamaica's legislators are failing this nation in the fight against crime.
A few amendments to existing laws the legislators could pass are as follows:
n Bench trials for ALL gun-related crimes. This will result in swift sentencing. Criminals will still have the right to appeal behind bars.
n Death penalty for ALL who smuggle guns into the island.
n Thirty-five years for gun possession.
n Five years for each round in possession.
n Life without parole for ALL gun murders.
n Death penalty for killing a law-enforcement officer and officer of the court.
n Thirty-five years to life for interfering, intimidating, threa-tening or harming a witness.
n Fifteen years for harbouring, aiding, and abetting a fugitive.
n Seizure and forfeiture of property where an illegal firearm is found - cars, houses, business places.
n Death penalty for comman-deering a public passenger vehicle and kidnapping.
n Five years for petty theft.
n Thirty-five years for burglary (homes/business).
Citizens should not have to live behind steel bars, prisoners in their own homes.
The long-term strategic initiatives of the security minister should still be continued and supported; however, an aggressive approach, using the law and extreme punishments as a deterrent, is desperately needed.
Law-abiding citizens are saying enough is enough. It is time to make criminals and their supporters afraid.