Justice Denied For The Gallaghers
Only a few days after we had cause to praise our court system - a relatively rare event in itself - it gives us no pleasure to record grave dissatisfaction with the outcome of the Paradise Island toddler tragedy.
The acquittal of three defendants on the direction of a judge may well be legally watertight, but it leaves the Bahamas to face, once again, the justified opprobrium of the international community.
Mr and Mrs Paul Gallagher from Britain have fought hard for six years to get this matter before the courts because they felt justice was being denied them.
Their. two-year-old son, Paul Jnr, died from horrific injuries suffered when an out-of-control speedboat charged up Cabbage Beach while pulling a banana float.
What began as a happy family holiday turned within seconds into a nightmare.
While we are in no position to apportion blame, and would not seek to do so, we are of the firm opinion that someone ought to have faced severe punishment for what happened on that dreadful day. Whatever legal deliberations took place behind the jury's back, whatever drove the judge to take the action he did, there is no doubt that laymen everywhere will see this as another example of justice denied in a country which is becoming known for it.
The Gallaghers have our deepest sympathy and, we suspect, the shared dismay of the Bahamian people as a whole.
The seasoned justice crusader Greg Cash called The Tribune yesterday to ask: What is happening to our country?
He may well ask: All we hope is that the outside world does not judge Bahamians by the standards of our legal system.
That would be most unfortunate.
April 25, 2008