QUESTION OF THE DAY
WHAT IS THE LIKELY IMPACT OF THE THREE YEAR SENTENCE ON THE UDP LEADERSHIP?
There is every reason to conclude that a “Free Ousainou Darboe and UDP members” campaign will take place everywhere there are Gambians on all sides of the political spectrum. Hence UDP is not being killed. It is kept alive. We hope that parties will be kept alive by being free to campaign for votes rather than through earning sympathy from all those who have hearts to feel the pain of others in their times of need.
There is also the case of the driver of the former minority leader who is acquitted and discharged because of the evidence he gave that he was just caught up in the process. Fanta Darboe also gave a similar explanation which was highlighted by the court. She was however not acquitted and discharged. She has a strong case in any appeal if the rule of proof beyond reasonable doubt is applied to the letter.
The National Assembly members should bear in mind how to make laws. Penalties which impose custodial sentences of three years without the option of a fine tie the hands of courts. These types of laws oust the mercy of courts and make them retributive. The hands of the courts should not be bound since they are faced with first offenders, lactating mothers and people who are caught up in cases without having any criminal intent. The law should give maximum sentences but the minimum should be left to the discretion of the courts.