Dangerous Precedent As Judge Lets Suretors Off The Hook

Thursday 23rd, January 2014 / 09:48 Published by

Magistrate Andrew Forbes failed to comply with the law and lock up two women who had posted $7500 bail for an alleged drug dealer who didn’t show up for numerous court appearances.

People want to know why crime is out-of-control in The Bahamas… this is why.  Because incompetent judges do not do their job.

Magistrate Forbes was lenient on the two women who signed a bail form for Craig Nicolls, informing them that they would only have to pay $500 each as a fine, instead of forfeiting the $7500 or go to jail.

At first, it appeared that the judge was going to do his job.

“If you don’t pay by 3:00pm, the court will hold you in contempt and you will be committed to prison for a month,” Forbes said, further advising that “in the future, if you are going to sign bail, you better ensure that they show up to court unless they are worth going to jail for”.

The women replied that they didn’t know they were responsible for his attendance.

The answer prompted Magistrate Forbes to ask if they had read the full contents of the bail form they signed. The document notes that they would forfeit $7,500 to the court if the conditions of bail were breached.

“I didn’t read that part on the form,” one of the women said. The other suretor said the same.

The magistrate said they had until 3pm to find a way to produce the court’s $7,500 or “y’all are looking at a prison sentence.”

But after seeing the two women crying in the back of the courtroom, Forbes caved.

“I am not going to ask you to pay the $7,500. I am going to ask you to pay $500 each as a fine. If you don’t pay by 3:00pm, the court will hold you in contempt and you will be committed to prison for a month.

The biggest question here is, what happened to the mandatory 4-year jail sentence for drug offenders?  That law is being selectively enforced.  It is a ridiculous law that should be repealed.  But as long as it is on the books, it should be applied to everyone, across the board, not just the people who don’t have the right  family name or political connections.

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