Letters to the Editor

Court of public opinion hands down a sentence

Monday, August 21, 2017

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Dear Editor,

As a servant of the true and living God, I must declare that ye without sin cast the first stone!

It was highlighted by the media that a young lady, Shaneke Williams, put in an application to be a contestant in the Miss Jamaica World pageant, but due to earlier accusations against her concerning a sex-related case she will not be allowed to contend for the crown.

Of note, this case against Williams was not brought to trial and a verdict of innocent or guilty was not handed down in a court of law. It must be understood by every well-thinking Jamaican that a defendant is considered to be innocent until proven or found guilty. This was not done, so why has this young lady been chastised and excluded from the competition based on a case that was not brought before a judge in a court of law and a verdict given? The organisers of the Miss Jamaica World competition have seen it fit to exclude Williams from the competition because of competition rules. This is absurd! She was not found guilty of these allegations; it could be a situation of baseless slander. We should allow the law to decide her innocence or guilt. It would have been understandable if due process were done in the courts and she was found guilty of the charges and punished. But all the village lawyers have prosecuted this girl based on pure hearsay. This is wrong!

As for all the people calling for her to be excluded from the competition, shame on you, because slander and hearsay are not facts. This young woman should have been given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to compete. Why has the court of public opinion been allowed to disqualify and prosecute this girl without facts?

As a nation we must also practise this zero tolerance with our leaders and political representatives. If we were so strident the country would not be filled with so much corruption and crime. It is amazing how we have morals and values on selective issues and people.

It is imperative to note that we currently have Members of Parliament who have been accused of crimes, too, and they are still allowed to represent their constituencies. This double standard has got to stop. Facts is what is important not public opinion.

Rev Tanasha Buchanan

tanashabuchanan@yahoo.com

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