Laws making hardened criminals

What is happening to the languishing gun legislature change in regards to the mandatory 10-year sentencing policy for having a firearm in the Cayman Islands?

On 15 January a news article was published in the Caymanian Compass concerning a man who stabbed his partner to death in a jealous rage and received a 13-year sentence.

I remember another article I believe that it was in December about a young man who had a firearm that didn’t work and had harmed no one or used the weapon on anyone, yet he received the mandatory 10-year sentence.

One man who actually murders someone got a 13-year sentence and another man with no criminal record, a non-functioning firearm that had not committed a crime receives 10 years, although he had no previous police record.

There have been other sentences handed out since I’ve started taking notice of this draconian and harsh mandatory sentence and the crimes have included the defilement of a minor and the actual injuring of another human being and the sentences have been less than this mandatory 10-year sentence for possession of a firearm.

It looks to me that this mandatory sentence was an over-reaction to a spike in crime but was not well thought out in regards to the long-term consequences.

The Cayman Islands is taking young men (generally) with no previous criminal records and due to a gross misjudgement or pure stupidity on the young man’s part is basically ruining the rest of their lives.

If they were not hardened criminals at the time of sentencing they certainly will be when they get out of jail in 10 years.

There are no options for the judge to weigh in with an opinion, no opportunity for counselling or rehab or a much lighter sentence to include probation.

This is a barbaric and ridiculous mandatory sentence that really does much more harm than good.

Get on the stick legislators and try to help young men who have no criminal records from becoming a drain on society 10 years while they languish in jail and then a hardened criminal after that.

Leah Hunter

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