Cabinet proposes ticketing for up to 1/2 pound of ganjaFriday, May 01, 2015
BY BALFORD HENRY Senior Staff Reporter email@example.com
A Cabinet subcommittee has recommended that mandatory bail be granted to people detained for several offences, including possession of up to half-a-pound of ganja.
The committee said that all offences punishable only by a fine or a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 12 months should carry a mandatory bail offer.
The committee proposed, as well, that the use of fixed penalty tickets should be expanded to include: possession of eight ounces of ganja; smoking in a public place; exposing goods for sale; possession of an offensive weapon; malicious destruction of property, where the property does not exceed $20,000 in value; simple larceny, where the value of the property does not exceed $5,000; and assault at common law.
It also proposed that a system of cautions be introduced, along the lines of the United Kingdom's caution system, and greater use of non-custodial sentencing options.
The committee was chaired by Minister of National Security Peter Bunting and Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding. It was appointed two weeks after public outcry when 31-year-old construction worker Mario Deane died from injuries he received in August, last year, while detained at the Barnett Street police lock-up in Montego Bay on a charge of a possession of a ganja spliff.
It was asked to review the detention system and develop a strategic response to the situation.
The report was tabled as a Ministry Paper, entitled 'Proposals of Cabinet Sub-Committee Convened to Review the Detention System (police lock-ups and correctional facilities)', in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
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