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Jul 28, 2009

Double jeopardy; 2 sentences for the same crime

Story PictureAlso in court, Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh is expected to intervene and make a decision as to whether a Caye Caulker resident will spend two years behind bars or be served with a non-custodial sentence of ten thousand dollars. This is because nineteen year old Fernando Magana was convicted twice in two days for the same crime. On Monday, Magistrate Edd Usher found himself in a dilemma when he sentenced Magana to two years for possession of ammunition after Magistrate Harrison Hulett had imposed a fine of ten thousand dollars. But since the Constitution says that you cannot be tried twice for the same crime, Magana’s case will now have to be determined by the C.J. Allegations are that Edgar Corondo accused Magana of assaulting him and according to police, when they searched his home, they found ammunitions. And when Magana appeared before Magistrate Hullet, he pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined ten thousand dollars. It was not until later that the prosecutor made reference to the amendment to the laws as it relates to firearm and ammunition charges. He brought Magana back to court—this time in front of Magistrate Usher who remanded him. And Magana has ended up as a case of double jeopardy.

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