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Breaking News:

The apocalypse


Published: Sep 04, 2017

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Dear Editor,

 

Ever since men began evolving and building societies, we have been plagued with crime and the violence often associated with it. Indeed, Cain, way back in the day, slayed his brother, Abel, in a fit of jealously and resentment.

Alas, nothing much has changed since then.

Now do not get me wrong about the whole concept of crime and the utter destruction it wrecks on collective society, but the question that needs an answer is whether we, again collectively, are serious about confronting it.

Successive administrations have appointed consultative commissions and committees on crime as if they were going out of style. There are numerous reports and studies that have been submitted to the powers that be at any given time. The old PLP used to go that route. The Hubert Ingraham administration went the same way. Despite all of these reports and studies, crime continues unabated. I am not one to subscribe to the bogus view that crime will ever be solved because of human nature to simply sin, but it can and must be reduced to the irreducible minimum.

I do not believe that the run-of-the-mill politicians who infest our public life have the political willpower to seriously address the issues of crime, punishment and rehabilitation. It is very seldom that right-thinking members of Bahamian society will, off the bat, commit a crime, except for one of sudden passion. We are aware of the criminal consequences and banishment from regular society. The rest of us, especially the ones who have dropped out of school and have no marketable job skills, are relegated to a perpetual life of crime and mayhem.

Our criminal justice system is a complete joke and is geared toward, seemingly, the victims more than the perpetrators. Sentencing, where one is found guilty, is often a mere slap on the wrist, and the beat goes on and on ad nauseam.

Persons who are charged with homicides are often granted bail with conditions. It is unfortunate that many of them so admitted to bail, who are supposed to be monitored, are themselves gunned down.

The incidents recently involving the shooting death of an infant and the wounding of the parents, coupled with the armed robberies of an Anglican church and the hold up and robbery of a prominent bishop’s children and their chauffer, have alarmed the general populace. We should not be alarmed, because we, as a people, have yet to get serious. You will recall that a few short moments ago, prominent Evangelist Rex Major and his family endured a brutal and shocking home invasion. It will only get worse if we continue to wring our hands and shed fake tears.

The apocalypse of crime will kill us all, in one way or the other. As I said earlier, we do not seem to care about the punishment stage. If one takes a life without legal justification, our laws are clear: He or she forfeits his or her own life. It is as simple as that. The judicial committee of the Privy Council has our hands tied. Get rid of this archaic judicial cum human rights nuisance and we could resume executions, once all other judicial appeals are completed.

Rehabilitation and the smooth reentry of offenders back into society must also be urgently addressed. It is no use for a convict to be sent to The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services only to come out worse than when that person went in. Job training and sustainable vocational skills must be taught to those willing to learn or train as an inducement for time off. It is hoped that such individuals would be able to be reintegrated into their communities and move on in a positive way with their lives.

The apocalypse might appear to be upon us, but may I suggest that we are merely going through knee-jerk reactions and the fabled seventh day news event?

In short order, almost like watching a reality show on the tube, we will wait with bated breath for the next sensational crime event.

To God, then, in all things, even the apocalypse, be the glory.

 

– Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

 

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