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Jan 4, 2011

Poor people to suffer from amendments to Crime Control & Criminal Justice Act

On Monday night we heard the concerns that two attorneys raised over the new amendments to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act.  Attorneys Dickie Bradley and Anthony Sylvestre say that the stringent law not only infringes on the rights of the accused, but also places a heavy burden on their family because meeting bail is now made much more difficult by the amended legislation.

Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney

anthony sylvestre

“The amendment now mandates, now requires that look, if you apply for bail and you are granted bail, you can only get bail on certain conditions and one of those conditions is that you must provide landed property which simply means that you have to own property or you have to know somebody who own wah property and willing to put it up for yoh. Now Marion, you know in Belize, not that many people, about ten percent of our population owns their own property. Well the poor people definitely don’t own property, exactly.”

dickie bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney

“Because it says, let’s jump straight into it. That provision Anthony is referring to also speaks about the equivalent in money.  If you get a bail for twelve thousand dollars, you have to have land paper. If you donjt have land paper, it’s just like yoh noh get bail, just like yoh noh get bail. Or what is going to happen is that in our time we did make an amendment and thankful to Judge Lucas for reminding me of that. We did make an amendment that we can have because it was a criminal offence for somebody to say gial give me wah three hundred dollars and I wah use mi land paper fi bail yoh. That was a criminal offense you know. That was amended and it was allowed for people to be what in America they call bail bondsmen. You can say for every thousand dollars of your bail you give me a hundred and I will use my land paper. Although the details of that had not been fleshed out as yet, but if you can’t do that, the next best thing is you have to go find twelve thousand dollars ina cash fi go deposit ina the government treasury to get bail. Let’s look at the other provisions. That is a big one for us. For people like: me, Anthony, Kevin Arthurs, Hubert Elrington, Simeon Sampson, Tricia Pitts; all of us who are in this business of ever so often on behalf of citizens and clients we have to make an application to get bail, it’s painful to see what poor people go through. Listen as lawyers, Anthony and I will make more money with a law like this because more people would be desperate to get lawyers. But this is not about that man. This is a serious matter.”

The amended Crime Control Act came into law in December, but has now only come in circulation.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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15 Responses for “Poor people to suffer from amendments to Crime Control & Criminal Justice Act”

  1. Lucas says:

    The purpose of such laws is to disarm the public. Oppressive dictatorial govts. have always used such methods and the reason is to make as hard as possible an arm uprising. Sadly, but the P.U.P. is as guilty as the U.D.P. But these laws will not deter criminals and citizens like me who believe in the right to bear arms, will never ever obey such laws for it was Saint Augustine who said: AN UNJUST LAW IS NOT A LAW.

  2. reggie says:

    the poor is always the one paying the price.let see if the law will work anything rite now to slow down the crime rate.we must also remember the VICTIM of crime.The good will suffer for the bad but at least thing will change.The flare gun is no big deal.let the G.O.B. issued a permit for people to purchase.and if they don’t have a permit the law take it course.

  3. islander says:

    Looks like Attorney Prime Minister is making sure he takes care of his own attorney’s by passing laws that will make a nice chunk of change for them… Its a pity we do not have more attorney’s fighting against this dumb laws.

  4. cg says:

    since i’m a criminal in the eyes of the criminimals (police)….i won’t be leaving my house…..or wait…better to bury myself in the ground one time with these stupid laws…..why bother have leaders if our own police are now legally allowed to treat us all like animals…..we might as well all live in caos and rob and murder…cause by law we are doing it anyway..

  5. Al says:

    It is time that there are some stronger laws on the books to keep these criminals from just waliking in and out of jail. This may give the criminals food for thought the next time they decide to break one of God’s commandment. Poor Bradley, his money pool will slow down when he is not able to secure bail so easily for his poor guilty, but innocent clients.

  6. coral Black says:

    There an old saying that say, My People perish because of the lack of knowledge;very true.
    Time after time we see these politicians propose and pass (policies disguise as law), and the
    ? that most people never ask is, what is Law,and how does it affect each individual. People when
    every you hear these words like, (Amendments, an Act, Bill, Proclamation),and such, do yourselves a favor and do some research for yourselves, and get in form, because if a Man can pass a law,then that man is the (Omniscient Almighty Creator). Both these men speaking here belong to a fraternity called the (Bar of Association),it a club where parasitic men get together an plot how to manipulate the mines of the misinform mass, with there Godless policies disguise as Law. Playing games like this with people lives are nothing to these leaches, Thk the Almighty Creators for Righteous Laws like Dharma, and Karma Power to the People YHWH El Shaddai

  7. rootsman says:

    Next they will outlaw empty bottles, rags, gasoline and matches lest someone might put them together and use on those two brand new catamarans they getting ready to use at the tourist village.

  8. EL CHE says:

    By what i read in here its clear that belizean citizens are not happy with lawyers as ministers in belize,this is why belize is in deep @#$%,because belize is been ruled by lawyers,lawyers are the biggest educated criminals,in belize,and the world.concessions,contracts,sweet deals in the turism industry in belize are done by the belizean law firms owned by the politicians,who are lawyers in belize.

  9. Concerned says:

    The PM says that this law is in effect to force the individual to claim ownership to the items so that his family does not have to go to jail. What about the invididual who has to conscience and who has nothing to lose. What if he has a personal vendetta against the persons that were arrested with him. Mr. PM what if someone takes it to your house and is willing to take the jail time along with you?

  10. BZNinCALI says:

    It pains me too, Dickie…. every time I see one of these angels allowed back on the streets because they were able to meet the low bail. I would like to see that $12,000.00 bail set once in a while, I constantly see $1200.00 to $4,000 bails which are not a deterrent to crime. All this means is more business for you & your colleagues. File your written objections, let the courts strike down the portion of the bill that is unconstitutional & unenforceable but do not encourage Belizeans to be so scared of their damn shadows or use this to make our already worthless courts completely irrelevant.

    The complaint about only 10% of Belizeans owning their property simply highlights the reason we need to clean up the streets & encourage our people to have a real stake in the country’s survival. This will be our 30th year of independence, we have sold Belizeans on the merits of having cars they cannot afford to drive & have nowhere to park, cable TV, cell phones & every modern convenience, yet regardless of who is in office, no one seems to stress the importance of home ownership unless it is being held out as a carrot to buy someone’s vote. If people own their property, it is to their advantage to keep their neighborhoods from being overrun by crime. Stop dazzling us with BS & “concern” for “Po Folks”. Why can’t some of you donate a year of your time to DPP, we need criminals off the streets & in jail where they belong so that we do not have another 132 murders this year.

    By the way, the same people who cannot afford bail cannot afford the funerals either.

  11. Edward says:

    I think the government needs to empty Hattiville prison and start rounding up every law abiding citizen (young and old) and lock them up. This move is no more extreme that the laws they have now created to yet again destroy the very root of our society. It will do three things (1.) It will protect the innocent from the police who now has a carte-de-blanche to now brutalize us at will (2.) it will free up the justice system to prosecute (the proper term should be persecute) the innocence, rather than prosecuting the drug dealers, murders and thieves that Dean and his inept idiots love and finally (3.) locking people up in the prison system will solve the crisis that all innocent poor law abiding citizens face (and many middle class law abiding citizen will face) lack of proper food and shelter. We are being made to be obedient servants to a fascist despot, his family and the shady Mexican Circus of a government he presides over. Well my people will we lay down to be used as cheap pavement on a road that is being built to ruin. I have in the past been witness to the brutality of innocent people at the hands of the police and it is a hopeless and helpless feeling. I have thought my children to both fear and hate the police. They fear them because they can kill you on a whim and hate them because they can. My Grandfather used to say to me “son mark my words there will come a time when the government will use the police to drag you out of your house in the middle of the night and take you away to be silenced”; we are allowing his words to come to pass. We are almost there people and yet we do nothing about it but to accept. To anyone who uses this medium to voice your displeasure, be forewarned and be careful because who is to say that the government isn’t watching the elements that opposes them. Google the word “Gestapo” and “Mossad” (this last one Shyne Barrow will be most familiar with), then you will know where I am coming from. Also check the news for Oct 2, 2010 “Phone and electronic wiretapping bill debated before senate”.

  12. Elgin Martinez says:

    This law was implimented to put more Belizean in jail and bring in foreigners to buy their land.All this bs is planned.

  13. ceo says:

    What about not comitting crime in the first place? This would be the best thing!

    But I can understand Dickie’s point and could support this stringent law if they can guarantee that they will speed up trials so innocent people don’t sit in jail for ever and lose their jobs.

    This will not work because petty criminals comitting nusance crimes will be spending time and the big drug guys who are the ones doing the killing will have the money to post bond and get set free.

  14. harry says:

    all of you guys are really crazy, such stringent laws needs to be put in place so that these criminals think twice what they will do. If it was up to me i would bring down back the hanging law, i bet if that was the case all these murdering would not be happening in Belize. But everyday you hear about killing and you guys still think that the poor is suffering because of this? the main reason we are suffering is because of our lazyness and preference to criminal activities.
    And those two attorneys are just crying because they will not be able to defend the criminals and get them out free.
    OHH and by the way the major reason why major part of Belize population dont own a property is because of the PUP, if you dont have money in their term you could never own, only foriegners and rich people. I am a 30 year old belizean, in working class and still dont own a piece of land. So what do you think/

  15. Earl Grey says:


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