Saturday, December 1, 2012

A different justice for lawyers

A different justice for lawyers

There seems to be a new system of justice emanating in the Bahamian court system. Just last year, I read with interest several cases involving lawyers, who seem to be getting slapped on the wrist for illegal behavior and behavior contrary to their oath.

One case in particular was a lawyer who pleaded guilty to stealing almost two million dollars from eight of his clients. He was released on bail on the condition that he would repay the funds back. This did not happen. In fact, during an appearance in court to discuss the status of his returning his clients money, the accused lawyer admittedly had not paid back one cent and he changed his plea to not guilty. The prosecutor even had evidence that the lawyer was not even conforming to his bail conditions which was to report to the Paradise Island Police Station once a week.

I stand corrected, but last thing I read was that he has a new court date and he is still on bail.

Recently, there has been a story in the press about a lawyer who stole funds entrusted to her from a retired teacher. Yes a retired teacher. I know that the lawyer must now be regretting that decision. She was remanded to prison in August of this year but has been released for a specified time in order to repay the funds back to the client.

The interesting about this is that this lawyer has several other cases pending involving stolen funds. Her defense lawyer said that she is the bread winner of the family and needs to work to sustain the family. Why can’t these type arrangements be made for the over the hill man who might steal a DVD player?

We will have to wait and see how this one turns out. Everyone in life makes mistakes, some of them more costly than others. But what message are we continually sending to the Bahamian public when the type of justice you receive is apparently tied to your status in society? Not a good one. We are nurturing a society of persons to get away with murder and wrongdoing and hence we have successfully created an out of order society. Justice should be given to all Bahamians, not just a select few.

Dehavilland Moss


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