The following statement was issued by Senator JoBeth Coleby Davis, Opposition Spokesperson on Legal Affairs and the Shadow Attorney General at the press conference of the PLP on Wednesday 20 March 2020 held to protest the harshness of the penalties being imposed by Magistrates on the poor and vulnerable and the innocent for supposed violations of curfews:
“I am here with colleagues and friends of justice to present a simple case to the court of public opinion. Each day we find a litany of stories about people, mainly people from working class social and economic backgrounds; senior citizens and young people who seem to be the target of arrests and fines which in our party’s view causes us concern.
“This seems to us unfair in many respects. I start with the story of the homeless men in Grand Bahama who were charged and convicted of violating the curfew laws.
“It has gone downhill from there. In both the House and the Senate the PLP has urged the government to speak with the proper judicial authorities about the policy behind these applications of the law. The Attorney General promised that he would do so.
“Surely it is unjust and oppressive to fine people hundreds of dollars where they are unemployed and have no visible means of support or the ability to pay. There are other instruments or ways of dealing with this that are just and fair.
“That is our simple point this morning.
“There must be justice and not injustice in the administration of the law.