CC: BermudaSucks.com, The Royal Gazette, The Bermuda Sun
How are things? Haven’t seen much of you in the news lately, so I guess you must be busy helping Paula with the budget or something. Well, that must be quite a task, dividing up the dollars between cricket and home renovations. You know, there are some neat financial planning programmes you can put on a pda, not sure if they work on Blackberry devices though.
Still, if I may interrupt, I have a few things I’d like to ask about, if you’re not too busy. I reckon a lot of people share these questions. Like, I saw that the DPP is reviewing the Rebecca Middleton case. I really hope that goes somewhere. After close to ten years, I hope her parents get some kind of justice and closure. Have you been in touch with them? What I would really like to know about this is what has government done about improving the judiciary system to ensure that this never, ever, ever happens again. Has there been any major overhaul of the system? Or improved training for those involved? Has the cause of the screw-ups been identified?
On a related topic, what on earth are you going to do to sort out sentencing in the courts? It all seems to be haywire to me. I bet you read the Royal Gazette and Bermuda Sucks too, so you must have noticed that sentencing seems to be, well, lets say inconsistent. Back in the day, the dude that did get convicted over Rebecca’s attack got 5 years in jail. He is still in jail because of a much longer sentence for armed robbery. It was before your time as Premier I know, but maybe you can explain why the armed robbery attracted a much longer sentence? The dude that wasn’t convicted because of those screw-ups did get a year for stabbing a woman. A year. Twelve months.
You see, P, I’m a woman and this concerns me too. Heck, it concerns most of the blokes I know. More recently (and within your time as Premier) we have seen a man who sexually assaulted children over a period of time get a mere sixteen month sentence for destroying their lives and family. We’ve seen men who brutally attack their wives get lighter sentences than people with not enough weed to get high. Others have escaped conviction altogether. Do the sentencing judges have no guidelines, bad guidelines, or do they just not apply them? I’m sure that behind the scenes you must be working really hard to put this right, but how about blowing your own trumpet and telling us exactly what measures you are taking to improve the Bermuda legal system?
Good luck with the cricket. And while you’re balancing that budget, I know you’ll be remembering to include a much-increased amount for the Women’s Resource Centre and for victims of child abuse, even if they are less important than the world cup and your nice cornices.