Judge too easy on goat thief
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I was quite taken aback upon reading a Gleaner article on Tuesday, August 26, regarding the six-month sentence for the goat thief in the Santa Cruz RM Court. As someone whose immediate relatives have suffered at the hands of these good-for-nothing thieves, I believe a six-month sentence would only be fair if that person's time in prison is spent making restitution, i.e., working to pay back what was stolen from the owners.
His sentence of hard labour should be to replace what he stole; also, he should be forced to implicate all his other cronies, the butchers and supermarkets or other businesses and the middlemen who receive and dispose of the stolen meat. They are a scourge and a blight on rural Jamaica, and the issue is not being addressed with the gravity and forcefulness which it merits by the powers that be.
A paltry six months is not deterrent enough to those who are stealing the livelihoods of the poor farmers and, in many cases, the next generation's livelihood as well, as many of these animals are investments for secondary and even tertiary education. How do you teach a child the dignity of hard work when the animal he has been feeding for months so he can go to school in September has disappeared with a thief in the night? For a thief to walk away after six months is criminal! Definitely no pun intended.