November 30, 2020

The Editor Speaks: When we are too quick to judge

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Colin WilsonwebA Cayman Islands judge has been criticised almost universally on the local media websites and on the radio talk shows for his sentencing of a man with psychiatric problems for defiling a teenager.

Please see iNews Cayman story 27 Feb 2013 at https://www.ieyenews.com/2013/02/suspended-sentence-for-defilement-charge-on-a-teenager/

The judge ordered a suspended sentence of two years and the defendant was to be placed under the supervision of the Department of Community and Rehabilitation for two years and has to attend psychiatric counselling. The man had already spent 8 months in prison, had pleaded guilty immediately to his crime, co-operated with the police, had a full time job and a family to support. He also had NO PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS!

My question to all the critics who want to see the judge hung, cut up in quarters and fed to the sharks, what would a long custodial sentence serve?

The man is now no burden on our society. He is providing for his family. He is UNDER SUPERVISION FOR TWO YEARS. He has to attend psychiatric counselling, something somewhat lacking at HM Northward Prison. If he reoffends in ANYWAY he goes to prison and has to serve the suspended prison term.

To read the blogs and listen to the “outraged” members of our community I can picture them all standing in the streets 2,000 years ago and stoning to death a woman who was accused of being unfaithful. In nearly every case then, the woman was in fact raped, and it still goes on to this day.

When we, in the media, report it is very easy for us to slant a story the way our feelings dictate. We can leave out facts that we feel are unimportant or worse still would provide some form of mitigation that is against our righteous indignation.

In our quest to judge from blazing headlines we often fail to read the whole story even if all the facts are there. Our minds are already made up. We have been too quick to judge.

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