Friday 18 October, 2019

Griffith slams meagre sentencing for gun-related offences

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says the sentences meted out by judicial officers for firearm-related crimes, particularly murder, is not enough.

The CoP’s concern comes in the wake of a man being sentenced to 18 months hard labour for possession of a firearm and nine months for possession of ammunition.

He said this sentence appears to be equated to that of persons sentenced for possession of small quantities of narcotics and fraud offences.

"One of the greatest atrocities in life is when one person has the intent to kill. 83% of this country’s homicides is as a result of the use of illegal firearms, therefore the present situation where this person will be out in just over a year and back on the street is not good enough," Griffith stated.

The top cop lamented that the scourge of violent crimes is underpinned by illegal firearms. He said as such, the Judiciary has to play its role in reflecting the intentions of Parliament and the concerns of all law-abiding citizens.

Griffith also referenced two mass shootings in the United States, in both Ohio and El Paso, Texas which saw 31 people killed and several more injured. He said this further demonstrates the importance of stricter penalties.

"After having noticed what took place in two cities in the US by one person having an illegal firearm, it shows how serious of a crime it is and the serious types of sentences which should be given. Someone having an illegal firearm in their possession means they have an intention and we should not have to wait to take decisive action."

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