Rehabilitated persons shouldn't have conviction taint their entire lives - Chuck
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says he does not believe people convicted of a criminal offence should have the conviction taint the rest of their lives if they can demonstrate they are fully rehabilitated.
His comment this morning on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM was prompted by debate surrounding this week’s admission of a man with two past convictions to the legal bar.
Isat Buchanan was formally called to the Bar on Tuesday despite attempts to prevent his entry into the legal profession because of his prior convictions.
Chuck says he does not know enough about the case to comment specifically on it.
However, he notes that his ministry has been working to have the criminal records of persons expunged after a period of time, if they prove they have been successfully rehabilitated.
Chuck says he will be seeking to have discussions with the General Legal Council to get a better understanding of Buchanan’s case.
Buchanan told The Gleaner this week that 21 years ago he was preparing to travel overseas when a neighbour asked him to deliver some cash to someone in the United States.
He says he was stopped at the Norman Manley International Airport and the authorities confiscated the packages and later said that it contained drugs.
He was eventually convicted and paid a fine of approximately $1 million, but that was just the beginning of his legal dilemma.
In 1999, Buchanan said he was on a flight to Florida, in the US, when a quantity of drugs was linked to him and he was given a 10-year prison sentence.
Five years ago, he enrolled at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), and on Tuesday Buchanan was formally called to the Bar.