Editorial: Thirty years

POSTED: 05/29/12 1:09 PM

Maybe it comes like too little too late, but we think that the comments from the Bar Association about article 28 the parliament dropped from the new Criminal Code are still worth considering.
Our parliament basically wants to lock up lifers and throw the key away. The Bar now suggests a compromise between the review after twenty years and nothing at all: a review after the maximum temporary prison sentence of thirty years.
This would bring the legislation in line with international standards. Using the judgment of a behavioral expert (like a psychiatrist) as the objective standard for such reviews also makes sense, even though a Justice Minister who has to take the final decision will always have to take the public sentiment into account as well.
We suspect however that the Criminal Code is a done deal for the justice ministry and for the parliament, and if this is what St. Maarten wants, this is what it will get.

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