Business & Professional Women’s Club Call For a National Dialogue on Reforms to the Judicial System

The Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados, the organisation that operates the sole shelter for abused women in Barbados, is questioning what appears to be a new policy of releasing suspects of murder on bail, and even more recently, the release of the convicted murderer of a mother and daughter, whose sentence of death had already been commuted to life in prison.

Is enough thought being given to the families of the victims in helping them to understand the judicial system of Barbados? We have seen the recent story of a woman and family of the victim, confronted with newspaper accounts of the release of the person charged with the murder of her partner. We also hear the concerns of mothers of murdered children fearing walking into the released men charged with the murder of their children while trying earnestly to be fair, stay in the space of grace and peace that have kept their sanity since having to deal with the death of their children.

These families like others continue to express distress and charges of doubts about the possibility of support for the family by the judicial system. Some have been expressing feelings of abandonment believing that more is being done for the criminal. We would have to be deaf and blind not to hear and observe the outcry of many Barbadians about the release of the murderer of the mother and child.

BPW is requesting that the members of the judiciary, the leaders of government, and members of the bar association of Barbados, pause and take the time to explain to the people of Barbados what are the goals of what appears to be new policies. We welcome a 2016 approach to punishment and rehabilitation, but as a society, and a democracy our voices must be included in helping to shape a policy that is fair and just to all citizens.

BPW is requesting that the members of the judiciary, the leaders of government, and members of the bar association of Barbados, pause and take the time to explain to the people of Barbados what are the goals of what appears to be new policies. We welcome a 2016 approach to punishment and rehabilitation, but as a society, and a democracy our voices must be included in helping to shape a policy that is fair and just to all citizens.

The time for a public discussion is now.

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