Oxymoronic manslaughter sentence: Comical yet evil
Kaieteur News – Every country has stupid people. But some nations produce stupid people faster than others. Guyana must lead the list. I read a letter in the newspapers where people complain about a one-year sentence to two Haitians who entered Guyana illegally.
The people who wrote that letter must be silly souls that you have to laugh at. Why would a magistrate sentence two CARICOM citizens to one year in prison? The answer is obvious if you have been living in Guyana for the past 30 years and you are not a foolish person. There can be no logical reason for such a sentence.
The answer is the nature of the magistrates working in Guyana. If you investigate the nature of this magistrate, you will find much weirder sentences over a period of 20 years that make the one-year fixation on both Haitians look like extreme generosity.
This is Guyana, a dystopian, irrational, psychotic country that appears to normal people in the world as the world’s most inquisitive aberration. Nobody in authority in Guyana is interested in looking at the shocking behavior of magistrates. In countries with large and small populations, the kind of magistrates we have will never, and I stress, never be tolerated.
In which country you will find the following examples. Kwame McCoy, Jason Abdulla and Shawn Hinds have been accused of assaulting me. In the case, Magistrate Judy Latchman referred me to a column where I produced the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, “Hotel California.” Ms Latchman then recited the words in open court. To this day, I cannot understand the relevance of her speech to the trial.
Magistrate Ann McLennan, a few years ago, fined a woman for human trafficking when the law imposes mandatory imprisonment. But guess what? The government with the legal authority to investigate the magistrate issued a press release denying the fine. That’s the end of that. If I went to my file and produced columns I did on the weird sentencing of Guyana magistrates and judges, it will take up the remaining space. I have done about a dozen articles analyzing the incredibly alarming anomalies in court sentencing. The portrait is still alive so that readers can see from the case of the two Haitians.
Here is a tremendous stupidity on display right now. At the time of writing, a convict, Rondell Bacchus, is being held for questioning in the murder of Roger Khan’s companion, Ricardo Fagundes. He was charged with murder in 2008 for robbing and killing a businessman. He was sentenced in May 2019 but released in October of the same year.
There are growing queries and anger over how he might be released so early. You have to be the ignorant person whose empty head prevents you from being part of modern society when asking that question. He kidnapped and murdered a businessman in 2008. He pleaded guilty to murder that automatically becomes manslaughter.
In Guyana, it is very rare to get more than 10 years for any kind of heinous manslaughter once a guilty plea is made. Those who want to know how Bacchus was released need to understand the unexplained manslaughter sentence in this country. It is one of the most horrific anomalies compared to the judicial system in other countries.
People can torture their victims to death using extreme violence, they can literally replace their victim in the best of ways and at trial plead guilty to murder and get 10 years. What is baffling about this sentencing structure is that 10 years is not 10 years because in Guyana under the penal code, one year is nine months.
Make no mistake; Bacchus’ sentence was not irregular in the pattern of manslaughter trials. Why then such an idiotic question about his early release? Do you know in February 2019, a man killed another man and was sentenced to three years after he told the judge he was outraged when he got wet?
Now a week before he received his three-year sentence, Magistrate Leron Daly sentenced a student from the Nation’s School to three years for possession of five grams of ecstasy pills. Daly is still on the bench fishing daily recipes but not the recipe for McArthur Park which is a cake that forms the title of a great love song. For more of Guyana’s psychotic sentencing structure, see my column on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, “These magistrates’ decisions must be condemned.” In the eyes of the judiciary, a mango thief is more dangerous than a vicious killer.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper.)