The DNA Supports Marco’s Law – Well Wait!
Two weeks ago the jury unanimously found Kofhe Goodman guilty of the murder of Marco Archer. Young Archer was brutally murdered back in 2011 and his body was found behind an apartment building out west. Goodman’s conviction comes on the heels of public outcry for a law to ensure that there is a public registry for sex offenders and that our children are better protected from sexual predators.
Immediately after the verdict, National Security Minister, Dr. B.J. Nottage announced that he will move forward with Marco Archer’s Law and that he hopes to present this to Parliament before the end of the year.
Democratic National Alliance Deputy Leader Chris Mortimer says, “This is refreshing news for the people of the Bahamas. In what was one of the most brutal crimes ever in our country against a minor, we are glad that the Minister has taken this position. We support the Minister’s intentions and will work to ensure that this comes to fruition”.
The prosecution advises that they will be seeking the death penalty against Mr. Goodman. The DNA sees this as another opportunity for the government to strengthen its position on capital punishment and ensure that measures are taken to effect capital punishment in this country.
Mortimer further says, “There are too many murders in our country and there are too many perpetrators of crime who are slipping through the cracks in our judicial system. Let’s use Marco’s Law as a springboard to deal with these criminals once and for all. It is high time we show criminals that we are dead serious about crime in the Bahamas”.
The DNA extends condolences to the Archer family and all the other families who have had to deal with the pain of losing a relative that was murdered. We believe that once these murderers are punished for their wrong doing that the healing process would be made easier.
We also believe that there needs to be tougher restrictions placed on persons who are released from jail, especially for sexual predators. Additionally, there has to be a system implemented in prison for sexual predators to be involved in a results oriented rehabilitative program. Just recently Edward Butler was sentenced for a sexual offence involving a young child and was jailed for 16 years. The same man was convicted of a similar offence in 1988 and was jailed to 8 years.
The DNA’s Vision Book outlines our tough stance on crime and our no tolerance to criminals and criminal behavior. We are equally in support of Marco’s law and have outlined several measures that we feel the government can use in support of this mandate.
(1). Ensure that sexual offenders are made known to the communities that they reside in. This also includes when they change their address or travel to a family island.
(2). Make it a requirement for sexual predators to register with a government clinic closest to their home so that they can receive ongoing treatment.
(3). Make it illegal for sexual predators to be engaged in vocations or any activities that involves children.
(4). Make the sexual offenders list easily accessible to the public and ensure that updates are up to the minute. A website can assist in this regard. Also, police stations, government offices and public libraries should be required to have a current list available.
(5). Ensure that violations are handled with the strictest severity.
We support any initiative that the government of the Bahamas introduces that will reduce crime and we certainly endorse the government’s position to introduce Marco’s law. Mortimer concludes, “The political will has to exist in order for crime to be stamped out. Barring this, we will continue to have chaos and mayhem in our country”.
DNA Deputy Leader