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Oct 19, 2020

ComPol Not Happy; D.P.P. to Challenge Concurrent Sentences

Chester Williams

Fifteen escaped prisoners have been recaptured alive, arraigned and sentenced. Four of them have pleaded guilty and the others have been sentenced to one-year in prison.  Some of those sentences are to run concurrently with whatever time they are spending behind prison walls.  But that matter is not sitting well with the Commissioner of Police. Chester Williams explains that because the escape charge is not related to what they are serving time for, the sentence should instead run consecutively.

 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Well I have an issue with the concurrent sentence because if you are going to allow the sentence to run concurrent, it simply means that the prisoner is not being punished for having escaped from prison. And so myself and the D.P.P. have discussed the matter because we had some last week who were given concurrent sentences and the D.P.P. has indicated that she is going to appeal the sentence of these persons who were given concurrent sentence. It must be by law that there is a sentencing guideline in law which says that concurrent sentence is only used in situations where a person commits more than one offense at the same time and they arrive from the same circumstances then the person is to be sentenced concurrently. For example, you ketch a man with a gun and the gun has ammunition; it is one offense, one circumstances. So you might sentence for three years for the gun, three years for the ammunition and they would run concurrent. But let’s say that the man shoots at someone with a gun and he is apprehended later on with the gun and he is charged for the robbery and for the gun. That should not be concurrent; it must be consecutive because dah two separate offenses. So the same principle should be applied here. The fact that escaping from prison is not akin to the offense for which they were in prison; it should not carry a concurrent sentence.”


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