Editorial for 29 March: Rolling the dice on the future

 We have been quite pleased – not with the situation referred
to in the editorial below – but with the number and quality of comments
received from the public regarding the sad circumstances Anthony Berry now
finds himself in.

We feel this episode has sparked something of a national
debate which it would be good for the territory to have, as it concerns the
most precious resource in Cayman – the next generation. Obviously, not everyone
will agree; but that is after all the point of debate.

The story ran in Tuesday’s versions of the Caymanian Compass
and can be found by clicking here for review.

There will be no sanctimonious lecture from this newspaper
about how this young fellow was given chances in life and spurned them. There
will also be no hypothetical argument about why the United States government
rules the way it does in relatively minor drugs possession and consumption

What is needed is a factual assessment of the situation by
others who might find themselves in Mr. Berry’s plight down the road. According
to court records, what essentially occurred is that the young man was given a
second chance, rolled the dice and came up “snake eyes”.

We feel extremely sorry for Mr. Berry. One has to be careful
when speaking about the decision of a court in this jurisdiction, but it is
quite likely that the young man and his family will feel hard done by. As
attorney James Austin-Smith notes, the “silly, arrogant boy” Mr. Berry once was
may not be who he is now. But the man Mr. Berry has become is being made to pay
a high price indeed for that boy’s mistakes.

How many others in Cayman over the years have been in the
same situation, rolled the dice, gambled with their future and come up empty?

How many more youngsters out there are reading this,
wondering how they’ll do at the gaming tables of education, choices and life?

Do they want to risk it?