Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Chuck defends judges

Published:Sunday | January 21, 2018 | 11:29 AM
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has hit back at the police and other critics who have taken issue with perceived light sentences being imposed by judges for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

Days after publicly admitting that he also has concerns about the disparity between some of the sentences being imposed, Mr Chuck says critics should understand that sentencing is not a science and that every case can be explained.

Last week The Gleaner reported that police investigators have compiled a document that examined 35 cases of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition that were disposed of in Trelawny, St James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

The document indicated that in a majority of cases judges opted for fines, suspended sentences and probation orders.

Investigators complained that these were ineffective in helping to tackle the country’s escalating crime rate.

But Mr Chuck chided the police for singling out cases with perceived light sentences to make the argument that the justice system should be blamed for the escalation in crime.

Speaking last Friday during the launch of new sentencing guidelines for judges, the minister said the new document should help to bring more consistency in the punishment of criminal offenders.