Tesha Miller's $100 fine an embarrassment - trial judge
Parish judge Sanchia Burrell has said her ruling in Tesha Miller's case yesterday might help to highlight how outdated some legislation on Jamaica's law books are.
Miller, who is the reputed leader of the Spanish Town, St Catherine-based Clansman gang, was fined a minuscule J$100 for making a false declaration to an immigration officer at the Norman Manley International Airport on April 4.
He allegedly told the officer his name was Marlon Anthony Williams. The alternative to the fine is 10 days in prison.
According to Burrell, that was the maximum sentencing that the current legislation allowed her to hand down. She took the opportunity to implore law makers to revise dated laws.
"The sentencing should reflect how offensive we find the act. You have a whole system and people in place, and this is the fine? I find the sentencing in the circumstances embarrassing," Burrell lamented in the Kingston and St Andrew Court yesterday.
Miller was also charged on a second count of making a false declaration to immigration officers. It is alleged that on March 15, Miller made a false declaration to the Bahamian Consulate by signing his signature as Marlon Anthony Williams.
However, when the judge asked for the documents to prove such, the officer in the matter said the statement was outstanding, and he was working with a mutual legal assistant in Bahamas to obtain it.
Miller pleaded not guilty to the charge and the prosecution offered no evidence, so it was dropped, leaving Miller free of all charges brought against him.
"I commend our custom persons for picking up these offences, but there needs to be more urgency in completing files," Burrell said.