Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Gov't rehashing stale crime plans – Opposition

Published:Tuesday | November 28, 2017 | 10:53 AM
Opposition Shadow Minister of National Security Fitz Jackson. – File Photo

Opposition Shadow Minister of National Security Fitz Jackson says the crime initiatives announced by the Prime Minister and his Minister of National Security at the Jamaica Labour Party’s annual conference on Sunday are a combination of old, stale, tried and failed policies.

He says the proposal for mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years for gun crimes was already largely implemented in 2010. 

He says that measure has failed to stem crime and the rate of gun-related murders has spiralled out of control in 2016-2017.

He also notes that the denial of bail for certain crimes is another rehash of a failed measure that was attempted in the 2010 crime bills and which was ruled unconstitutional by the court.

Jackson says for the government to return with the same proposal seven years later, shows the total bankruptcy of ideas in the JLP administration under Andrew Holness.

The Shadow Minister is calling for the government to have a genuine national consultation on crime and devise a workable plan to facilitate efficient crime fighting by a police force.

Yesterday, attorney-at-law Bert Samuels, also raised concern about the constitutionality of plans to introduce legislation to deny bail to persons accused of murder or those caught with an illegal weapon.

He contended that not all murder cases are the same and each matter should be evaluated based on the circumstances.


Attorney Bert Samuels

Samuels is also of the view that to deny someone bail based on an allegation goes against the presumption of innocence.

Samuels argued that what is being proposed crosses the line in relation to separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary.