The difference two years made for Tommy Lee Sparta

March 24, 2023
Tommy Lee Sparta
Tommy Lee Sparta

When Tommy Lee Sparta walked out of the Horizon Adult Correctional Facility a free man on Thursday, it may have crossed his mind that his fate could have been different if his legal woes began after November 1, 2022.

Tommy Lee Sparta, whose given name is Leroy Russell, was locked up for two years, three months and eight days, or 828 days, after being found with an illegal firearm on December 14, 2020. After pleading guilty to the offences, he benefitted from a sentencing discount, which is provided in law, and was sentenced to three years for illegal possession of a firearm and two years for the illegal possession of ammunition. The sentences ran concurrently, which mean that he served the sentences at the same time. The sentence included the time served behind bars from the time of his arrest.

During the time of his incarceration, the Jamaican government implemented a new Firearms Act, which among other things, imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for offenders. Attorney-at-law Donahue Martin, who has represented the Psycho deejay, said he is not in favour of the new regime.

"As counsel, we have issue with the legislation and we have issue with removing the judicial discretion in relation to the issue of sentence, especially in such a disproportionate way," Martin said.

"Fifteen years is a long time, so, as counsel, we take issue with the amendments to the legislation," he added.

Martin, however, steered clear of speculating how the entertainer's fate could have been changed based on the time of his arrest.

"I'm not going on that hypothetical," he told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Martin said he is happy that Tommy Lee Sparta "is no longer a guest of the State". He said that now that the entertainer has been released, he is "reflecting and reconnecting with his family", and added that "I am very happy that he can do that".

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