News

Golding tables ganja Bill in Senate

BY BALFORD HENRY Observer senior staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 29, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!


MINISTER of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, finally tabled the much-anticipated Bill proposing the automatic expungement of convictions for certain minor ganja- related offences in the Senate on Friday.

The Bill also provides that conviction for a minor offence of ganja possession, which involves a fine of $1000 (or such other amount as may be prescribed), or for smoking ganja, shall not be entered into the criminal record of the offender.

The bill, officially titled An Act to Amend the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders), and which has been several years in the making, will amend the current provisions for expungement which, essentially, means a conviction removed from one's criminal/police record after a specific period of time has elapsed, and after certain requirements have been met.

The principle underlying this provision is that a person who has made a sincere and successful attempt to live down a conviction should be given the opportunity to start afresh without being haunted by an unfortunate past.

The Bill increases from three to five years the term of imprisonment which a sentence by the court must not exceed, in order for the offender to qualify for expungement. It will abolish additional rehabilitation periods leading up to expungement, and fix the rehabilitation period for persons who are 18 and older.

It also provides that qualified offenders are to be regarded as "rehabilitated", after ending their period of rehabilitation without re-offending, and their convictions are considered to be spent. Where the conviction is spent, the offender cannot, for most purposes, be required to disclose the spent conviction and cannot be prejudiced by it.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Did the NWC prepare adequately for the current drought?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT