The Cayman Islands community can now take some relief in the fact that two men have been charged in connection with the killing of Estella Scott-Roberts.
The arrests, however, cannot bring Estella back. Her family, friends, and indeed the whole community will continue to feel the pain of her loss, probably even more so as the horrific details of the last moments of her life are revealed in court.
It is natural for human beings to feel a range of emotion, from sadness and fear, to anger in times like this. Some people will feel a need for revenge. However, we implore everyone to remain calm in the face of these developments.
The men charged for the crimes against Estella are Jamaican. Given the already existing animosities toward Jamaicans by some Caymanians, we fear there will be backlash toward the Jamaican community.
First and foremost, we must remember these men have not been found guilty in a court of law yet.
We must remember that we should not judge any particular segment of a community by the actions of just two of its members. Every society has its evil elements.
We must remember the historic links between Cayman and Jamaica and vital role Jamaicans have played in this country’s development.
We must also remember the important role Jamaicans played in rebuilding Grand Cayman after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan.
Yes, if these Jamaican men charged with the killing of Estella are found guilty, they are despicable human beings who deserve punishment to the full extent of the law.
But we must remain within the law in our punishment of those found guilty in a court of law of crimes.
There is no room for vigilante justice, as has been called for by some callers to radio talk shows since Estella’s murder. We are a civilised society and we must resist mob mentality and calls for ‘throwing a rope over a tree limb’, as one talk show caller said.
It also does us no good to call for the reinstatement of the death penalty. Unless we are prepared to seek independence from the United Kingdom right now – a choice that almost everyone would agree would be disastrous for the Cayman Islands this point – the death penalty is not an option.
We must let the process of the Cayman Islands judicial system to take its course. Although a jury of our peers will sit in judgment of the men charged, as a Christian society, we can take comfort in the belief that their final judgment, and their final punishment, is in the omniscient hands of a much higher power.