Please Mr. President… Who’re the people you pardoned – and what crimes did they commit
PRESIDENT David Granger announced on May 26, 2015, with much fanfare, the pardoning of 60 criminals whom he described as “young persons…” who were imprisoned “for petty non-violent offences.”Every year, going forward, on the nation’s birthday, Mr Granger intends to pardon more felons who may meet this criteria.
One month has elapsed, and all the Guyanese public knows about the released convicts is that the number of pardoned inmates were reduced from the original 60, and that a U.S. Government-backed project has embraced the convicts, and intends to reintegrate them back into our Guyanese society.
While this may appear, on the surface, as a noble cause, I am galled that the media, which was a humbug to the previous Administration, is allowing Mr Granger a free pass by ignoring the limited information that is being provided about:
1: Who these pardoned criminals are;
2: What constitutes “young persons”. Is a person in their 30s who is set in his/her ways considered ‘young’?
3: What constitutes “a short duration”.
These subjective terms being used by Mr Granger need to be questioned, and deserve an answer.
It is time the love fest and honeymoon between the new Administration and the media simmer down. As the fourth arm of Government, the media needs to examine Mr Granger’s rubric of who gets pardoned.
I recall, with trepidation, the cacophony of the Guyana Bar Association and Mr Burch-Smith, the Guyana Human Rights Association and the many other proxy cudgels of the previous Administration, when Mr Donald Ramotar pardoned Ravindra Deo. The silence of these organisations is now deafening with Mr Granger’s pardon. With Mr Ramotar’s pardon, at least we know who was released, and the gravity of his crime. Mr Granger has not given us that courtesy.
It was reported in some sections of the media that cell-phone thieves are being pardoned.
When I contemplate that ‘Presidential Pardons’ are the new dispensation of justice for short sentences, and for being a young criminal, I can’t help but feel empathy for the families such as that of Ms Sheema Mangar, who died after she was run over by car after chasing after the crooks who stole her cell-phone.
The new Administration campaigned on “It is time to end crime”. However, we are witnessing a surge in violent crimes under their watch. With crime surging uncontrollably, I would like to know who are being pardoned, and the nature of the crimes committed. What if I was a victim of crime that led to conviction and detention of one of the Granger-released thugs?
Mr Granger, please release the names of the pardoned criminals, and the nature of the crimes committed.
The media needs to do its job; demand the demographical and criminal records of the pardoned hoodlums.
OUTRAGED AND CONCERNED CITIZEN