The Cayman Islands 2009 Constitution Order places a great
deal of emphasis in its Bill of Rights on what can be considered reasonably
justifiable in a democratic society.
While that wording is not strictly applicable to the below
discussion of specific criminal cases in our editorial, we ask our readers to
keep it in mind.
Robert Schultz, the former manager of the Chamber of
Commerce pension fund, was sentenced on Tuesday to five years imprisonment
after his conviction for theft of nearly US$290,000 from the retirement fund.
We are not in this writing arguing one way or the other in relation to the
sentence ordered by Grand Court Justice Charles Quin. Whether it is reasonable
or fair is not for us to state.
For our purposes here, we will merely list some other
sentences given in Grand Court for various offences in recent years.
*Patrick Brooks-Dixon; three years in prison for causing
death by dangerous driving.
*Brooke Nowak; 15 months in prison for causing death by
dangerous driving while under the influence of alcohol.
*Dave Bryan; 6 years stemming from allegations he
overcharged $300,000 worth of bread to Foster’s Food Fair.
*Dean Ron Bayley; two years and eight months added to a
prison sentence for biting off a piece of a prison officer’s ear. Previously he
received a nine month add-on sentence for punching another prison officer in
*Charlton Bengar Ebanks; three years in prison after
pleading guilty to seven burglaries.
*Anthony and Thomas Watson; 15 years for cocaine and ganja
possession and distribution-related charges
The circumstances in each of these cases are vastly
different, as are the crimes each individual was convicted of or pleaded guilty
Yet, we can’t help but notice, the two cases that involved
causing the death of another person and one that involved perpetrating an
assault on an officer of the law received toward the lower end of the
sentencing scale. So, what is reasonably justifiable? That is a question we
feel needs urgent examination in this territory with regard to prison