Aug 04, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

Magistrate Clive Nurse, a few days ago, sentenced pastor Donald Downer to one year in prison for dangerous driving (not death by dangerous driving; he injured two children). In January last year, Magistrate Ann McLennan fined pastor Winston Cramer $100,000 for killing a motorcyclist, Lennox Allicock, after Cramer failed to adhere to a stop sign. Allicock’s daughter was badly injured; she was the pillion rider.
I wonder what the mind of the daughter would look like when she grew up. She saw her father killed by a reckless driver who had to pay a mere $100,000 fine. Will she be an angry youth hoping to take revenge out on society?
I don’t blame such people. You deny people justice, they will harbour violent resentment against society. My only problem with such a scenario is that the destroyed youth will seek out vendetta against the wrong people. He will enter the home of some innocent family who had nothing to do with his unjust sentence and murder them. It is the height of modern barbarity that you drive and ignore a stop sign, kill a father, injure his daughter and you pay a five hundred American dollars fine.
Pastor Downer last week was not that lucky. He wasn’t lucky because he didn’t have money. A week before Downer knew his fate, a Brazilian pastor had his trial for death by dangerous driving cancelled by the DPP because he paid compensation to the dead person’s family.
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Here is an extract from my column captioned; “Magistrate Fabayo Azore and Ann McLennan and the price of life.” The date is April 17, 2017; “Magistrate Fabayo Azore sentenced a maintenance worker to four years imprisonment for conviction of a death by dangerous driving charge. The same magistrate dismissed the case against another driver with the identical charge after he killed a dance instructor. This is after the family accepted $5 million in compensation. Now here is the interesting part about the second driver. He was also charged for the following; driving without being the holder of a driver’s licence; driving without a third party insurance and driving a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner”.
So in the space of four months this year, two drivers before the courts for death by dangerous driving were spared a conviction and jail time by using money to free themselves from alleged criminal conduct. This is modern societal psychosis that can only happen in this fetid wasteland named Guyana.
What are the implications of these two cases? That money allows citizens of this country to do psychotic things in which people die. It is really a horrible country, this place; some act of nature should remove it from Planet Earth.
Every young man from a multibillion-dollar family business does not have to bother about the consequences of killing people on the road. The logic is simple; if you have the money, offer compensation and the charges will be withdrawn. Do you realize that with that kind of sociological morbidity, no human is Guyana is safe? In this country there are some fantastically rich people who spend millions monthly on pleasure. They or their crazy kids drive recklessly with their debauched friends, kill your spouse or child, and they literally walk.
In the case of poor Downer mentioned in the opening line, and the maintenance worker that Azore gave four years to, they didn’t have money to pay. Their class position in life has placed them in prison. I wonder where the maintenance worker was when the Camp Street prison was torched to the ground by riotous prisoners.
What about rape and brutal injuries? If one of the kids of the nouveau riche families drinks up and rapes a poor girl and due to courageous police work, he is brought before the courts, would twenty million save him if he proffers that amount? In Guyana, less than that sum can save you from jail time.
We had the largest number of fatalities in the Caribbean in a prison revolt – 17 deaths. Then the central prison was burnt down a year later. What’s next? That is anyone’s guess, but there is no guessing that more tragedies are coming.
A gentleman I don’t know or heard of before, by the name of Carl Franklin, telephoned me to say that he was in Guyana and he brought a book for me, “Why Nations Fail,” an international bestseller in the non-fiction genre. I read a large part of it on Wednesday night. After reading this book, one can safely say that Guyana is bound to fail.