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Apr 4, 2018

Legislation Not Enough, Says Dickie Bradley

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

Attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley has also weighed in on the matter of emergency zones. He says had the public emergency declaration gone through, the government could have opened itself up to damaging accusations of abuse of process in safeguarding our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights in the service of fighting crime. He urged the Government to very seriously revisit its plans and recognize that seeking to punish instead of to heal will only cause more misery.

 

Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney

“Under section eighteen of the Constitution of Belize, the security forces, as they are increasingly being called – like we are in Guatemala – the security forces can pick up anybody in those areas which that law would demarcate, would line out. They can pick up anybody and detain them for up to a week, without telling you anything about ‘we are charging you with so and so, we want to charge you’ – nothing, just go with you and lock you up. That is the law that they are thinking. In my humble opinion, it would be a violation of the Constitution of Belize to try and use that emergency law to fight crime in small, tiny designated areas on the south side of Belize or anywhere else. That is not what that law is there for. I follow closely what they are doing in Jamaica, and they are saying they are getting a little bit of success by turning a whole parish or half of a parish under emergency. But that is not what is in our Constitution, in the sense that that is not there to try and fight crime. They have the Crime Control Act – they just passed a lot of craziness about going to jail twenty years and twenty-five years and forty years which will cause some serious blowback.  We are experiencing an ongoing, almost ever-lasting rise in violent crimes and murders – over a thousand persons have been murdered in this country since 2008, and there has been no solution. No amount of crime control law and no amount of legislation in putting punishment on people is going to solve the problem. If that was the solution, the mighty United States of America would have solved their crime problem by passing legislation. Donald Trump would have made the most “way-out” of legislation; so would Guatemala, so would Honduras, Salvador, Jamaica and all the places that are experiencing a serious rise in violent crimes. You have to tackle social problems with social solutions.”

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