A leading anti-violence advocate has condemned this country’s judicial system following Tuesday’s release on bail of murder accused Sean Watson.
“There is absolutely something wrong with our judicial system where a man [allegedly] just commit murder and walk around with other civilians. This is something that has to be looked into,” Chairman of the SAVE Foundation Leisel Daisley told Barbados TODAY.
Watson was granted $250, 000 bail after serving almost four years on remand for the 2012 murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Harrison-Watson.
Daisley argued that his release was “not fair” to the victim or the Barbadian society.
“Yes, a person under the law is innocent until proven guilty and yes, he should be tried; but something is also wrong when it is going to take four years to be tried . . . then granted bail of only $250, 000. Why isn’t his bail a million dollars?”
The SAVE Foundation is a registered charity whose aim is to eradicate domestic violence here.
Daisley, who founded the organization, said Watson’s release sent the wrong message to society.
“Women in general are in fear and something needs to be done. We don’t know all the conditions of his release but whatever they are he should not be out of prison. And I am really disappointed with the judicial system and like most, if not all, Barbadians I am disgusted by it and I feel betrayed by it,” she said.
The anti-violence activist called for measures to be put in place to ensure that murder cases go to trial quickly so victims and their families can get justice.
She also questioned whether enough was being done to prepare prisoners for life outside the jail.
“The other concern I have where people [accused of murder] are getting released too early is that when the men are in prison they are not getting help in terms of emotional help and mental help because when they come out there is no change in behavior; they repeat the same mistakes.
“We also have to look at what we are doing to prisoners once they are in prison. I know that some level of counselling takes place, but maybe we need to overhaul that whole counselling system so that once these men are released back into society they don’t commit murder all over again,” Daisley said. (FW)