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Magistrate: Each case depends on its merit


“What the Law Lords of the paper do not understand is that each case depends on its merit,” Magistrate Donald Browne explained while handing down a fine of $700 to Raphique Williams, 19, of Chauncey after he pleaded guilty to having 68 grams of Cannabis in his possession.{{more}}

Browne was responding to a comment made by lawyer Arthur Williams who raised the point about the inconsistencies of sentencing and the fact that it was a small amount of weed and he (the magistrate) made a mistake about the how much drugs it was.

“If a man comes to court nearly every week with drugs, I would not charge him but send him to prison, but if a man comes one time I would charge him,” Browne explained.

According to information reaching the court, on Monday, police officers were on mobile patrol duty in Chauncey around 1:30 p.m. when they spotted Edwards with a cannabis cigarette. A search was conducted and a plastic bag was found containing white wrappings of drugs along with $24.

Lawyer Bayliss Frederick acting as a friend of the court said that what persons do not understand is that the magistrate has to exercise his discretion.

Browne pointed out the fact that it is much easier for a judge at the court since he has a jury to assist him in making decisions in a particular case unlike he who has to act as both a judge and a jury.

Ever since he fined retired US Court clerk Ian Caesar in an ammunition case over a month ago, Senior Magistrate Donald Browne has been repeatedly throwing jabs at the media accusing them of “hawkish journalism” and most recently the “Law Lords.” (KW)