Echoing statements made in Parliament last week, while speaking on Observer’s Big Issues, St Marys ‘ North MP said the time has come for victims to be given consideration.
Although no provision is given in the Offences against the Person Act 2013 for families of murder victims to be compensated, Molwyn Joseph believes the time is ripe for the issue to be addressed.
In keeping with his suggestion, he aired tremendous concern on the added burden left on the widower of Suzanne Powell. The woman was gunned down at her work place in Heritage Quay earlier this year.
To add more weight to his views, as he spoke on the radio show yesterday, Joseph said the man convicted of the murder of Monique Ramsey is now free and gainfully employed.
Without reservation, Joseph stated that Ronald Gederon should be made to pay the family of the deceased in the future.
Gederon a Trinidadian pilot was convicted of murder in 1995. He received a lesser sentence following a court of appeals application and walked free in August of 2012.
Joseph also shared his opinion on the proposal made to have sentences reviewed; specifically teenagers convicted of murder.
He opined that all teenagers do not develop the same way. “Depending on their social backgrounds, some are hardened criminals by the age of 16,” he said; suggesting that they should not be dealt with in the same manner.
Based on international standards, Antigua & Barbuda does not pronounce the death penalty or any pre-determined sentence on murder convicts below the age of 18. They are held at the Queens’ pleasure at Her Majesty’s prison.
The recent debate is also seeking to have detention fully directed by the judiciary.
And with the prevalence of gun related crimes, the opposition MP stated that murders committed by the gun should be put in another category. He suggested that once a gun gets into the hand of a criminal, he has the intention to kill.