Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Demanding Jail Time for Twice Convicted Child Rapist Albert Whyley
Convicted child rapist Albert Whyley could still walk free. A Freeport jury found him guilty yesterday of unlawful sexual contact with a minor for the rape of his nine year old niece in February this year. But apparently the law allows for the judge to sentence him to absolute discharge just as easily as to the maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison. Senior Justice Hartman Longley gets to make the final decision. Most shocking is the news that Whyley was convicted of this same crime eighteen years ago. I gather from this muddled newspaper story that prosecution lawyer Erica Kemp told the court at the verdict reading on Tuesday that Whyley was convicted of the same crime eighteen years ago and sentenced to fourteen years in prison, and that a Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to nine years. Does this mean Whyley did nine years in jail for child rape, was released and attacked again? Why didn't prosecution lawyers bring this up during the trial? Where is the other victim? Why are we just hearing about this now? Another dark-age legal restriction probably. The same kind that allows Longley to "sentence" him to be let go. It is shocking to me that a judge in this country can sentence a man to freedom after a jury has found him guilty of a violent crime. What then is the point of even having a jury? (And what kind of journalism is it to bury this shocking revelation of a prior conviction for the same crime at the bottom of the story on page two? Real (free) (modern) journalism would have uncovered and reported this long ago). There were six women and three men on that jury. The guilty vote was six to three. That's all I am going to say about that. I am calling on Justice Longley to have the courage and wisdom to honor the bravery of this child victim and the guilty verdict of the jury and sentence this predator to maximum jail time. This family, this child, deserves justice. Violent crime against women and children of the Bahamas carries on because we give impunity to offenders instead of justice to victims. This judge can be remembered for changing this and for being a hero for child victims of violent crime in the Bahamas, or he can be remembered as one more co-conspirator in the war against women and children. Will he believe the cries for help from an innocent child or will he believe the man who has already spent nine years in jail for the same crime? He will hand down his judgement on November 11. Thankfully the rapist is in jail until then. Justice Longley, keep him there.