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'Charge Parents For Child's Crimes'

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

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DNA leader Branville McCartney

PARENTS should be charged before the courts and held responsible for their children's illegal activities, DNA Leader Branville McCartney said yesterday.

Mr McCartney said if parents are found liable for their children's actions when they are young, they will do a better job at raising them.

He said there are laws on the books that allow for this type of action and the new government needs to enforce them.

"In the Child Protection Act under section 125 an order can be made where a minor is found guilty but the parents are responsible. The parents pay a fine, damages or costs. Holding parents responsible for their children's actions is a start to combating the crime problem. The law is there for it. In the Education Act under sections 24 and 25 parents can be held responsible for their children not going to school. We have a lot of children that are not in school. If they are not doing what they are supposed to as a parent there are consequences for it. We do not have a disciplined society, we need to get disciplined. We need to ensure there are consequences," he said.

"We need to catch these things from young. A parent won't be saying 'my good son' if they are found liable for their sons actions. They won't be saying 'my good son' when they have to pay that fine. Those are only two examples. The law is there. We need to do something."

Mr McCartney said until the government starts holding parents responsible we will see a decrease in crime. Something he said the present government seems not to understand.

He said: "I thought the PLP would have had this in order. They campaigned on crime. They need to act on this. With them it's just the same old same old. They are just going through the motions. I am talking as a citizen. I want the government to get on it. I want them to deal with crime. I do not feel safe. Something needs to be done. We have a government that won handsomely. I think the Bahamian people must put their feet to the fire. We expect good governance. We just ended an election where they had promises upon promises. They said they will do certain things. The government must take the lead. They have the responsibility. They need to deal with it."

Mr McCartney said the recent announcement by the Minister of National Security, Dr Bernard Nottage that he will be holding town meetings on crime is a clear and "disturbing" indication that the PLP does not know what to do about crime and the fear of crime.

Comments

B_I_D___ 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey, I'm all for it...sounds like a great idea...BUT!! The sad truth is that all the single mom's out there will get tagged with the penalties, because none of the fathers will admit that it is their child. You'll have to run through so many dang DNA (excuse the pun) tests and put all that before the court if you are going to try to pin any of the crime penalties on dear old no good dead beat dad. Who knows...maybe it will entice the ladies to keep their legs closed... Just sayin'...

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242 2 years, 3 months ago

Let Maury make one trip to Nassau

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrade Bran is spinning his babbles once again. Thank heavens for the intelligence of the good native's of Bamboo Town for not reelecting him back to the House.

What's next on his list of babbles to achieve during his first 100 days out of the native's House. Maybe next on his list of babbles will be to change the law, whereby you and i should be held legally accountable for another family member's illegal activities.

Comrade Bran as a practicing lawyer you of all people should know that never in the history of our Bahamland have we ever held another accountable for the actions or misdeeds of others, children or not.

Wasn't it you who stood up in the House and told South Abaco's red shirts Edision Key that he was wrong to hold you personally accountable for your own law firm's lawyer accepting a $5,000 retainers check from Bahamaland's government?

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Guy 2 years, 3 months ago

I often wonder if TalRussell is serious about the betterment of this country, or whether his singular role is to spur rubbish in defense of his political organization. In most civilized countries (particularly the USA who we seem to want to model after) parents are civilly responsible for the actions of their children. In fact, if negligence, obstruction, perjury, or abetment is determined then the parents may be criminally responsible as well. I totally support Mr. McCartney's position that parents ought to be made responsible for the actions of their children. If you find that your child is uncontrollable, then make application to the authorities for assistance and release the unruly and uncontrollable child into the custody of the state, so that attempts can be made to reform the child before he/she grows into a criminal adult. The reality is we are raising a generation of young persons who have no regard for order, authority and the rule of law, while their parents defend their "good child". Some level of culpability should be had by parents who are unwilling or unable to control these kids who want to wreak havoc on society at the expense of us all.

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JohnBrown 2 years, 3 months ago

Mr lawyer, let's just start throwing around the word accountability and penalties regarding parents, shall we? And in particular, you seem to enjoy blindsiding responsible, fearful parents, whilst making no sensible concrete utterances concerning jobs and training centres for Bahamian youth development. Stop for a minute. Have you looked in the mirror and asked yourself, why am I such a liar and selfserving hypocrite, who by my own words was supposed to resign the leadership role immediately after my defeat, but didn't?

If Bahamian youth are more inclined to being criminals because they have lost faith in your twisted system, after you lost your seat and hadn't the guts to do the honourable thing - and now you have the nerve to be talking about penalizing their parents. I would be very careful if I were you about charging those same parents and possibly suffering retribution from both those broken parents -now baptized into crime -that you chose to charge and take away the little money that they had earned legally before they lose their job, and gave no thought to the resulting possible suffering and painful restructuring from those children - if organized properly by the likes of a Bahamian Ernesto "Che" Guevara, which you would not want to have to go face to face with, as change occurs. I have never met a son that would not die for their mother, but would prefer to live gainfully employed and be able to provide and protect their mother.

If you don't want to use the Agricultural Chain Gang ACG and the Fishing industry and Hatcheries approachs as was previously defined, then simply be quiet. Remember, that our desperate, unemployed, youth could very easily turn their attention towards every lawyer in the Bahamas - win lose or draw. Shameless but EASY!

I guess this is another comment that weak-minded persons might see fit to remove...Oh Lorddie, please don't think outside the box.

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrades what our fellow Comrade Bran is advocating is a far cry away from holding parents financially responsible for their child throwing a rock though a window. 

Do you really want to fine or imprison parents across the board? Are we going to haul parents before the courts who are innocently caught up in criminal the actions of their child?.

One law to suit all parents would also punish parents who have done all they could and in spite of that, a child gets involved into criminal activity.

Again, as a lawyer Comrade Bran should know that his babble is heading down a dangerous legal road...punishing innocent parents.

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sansoucireader 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like a good idea BUT then what? The child still won't learn to take responsibility for his actions if the parents are held responsible. Parents may have some responsibility but it all comes down to the child deciding to be a menace to society by choosing right or wrong. At Heaven's Gate you speak for yourself .

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spoitier 2 years, 3 months ago

This may be a touchy subject because there are parents that may not really know what their children are doing but for the most part most parents have an idea if bad is being done inside of their home. So this may hurt some people but when push come to shove anyone would put that no good son out of the house to save the rest of the children, or their own butt from being fine or going to jail. I guess being warn a few times before action would harden the softess of heart.

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John 2 years, 3 months ago

Better yet, lets charge the grandparents and the aunties and the uncles too for the crimes children comit, then lock up the whole society, every single adult in this country, and leave the children alone to comit crime. Sounds like fun, and most of us already locking ourselves in anyways..

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrade Bran is not alone with his frequent cave man imagination. Didn't his Comrade deputy green leader just days ago lead the front to have women just lay back, spread and take their man's seed?

You'd think the greens would have at least curtailed their insanity, by recommending women substitute doing away with using contraceptives, by placing an "aspirin between their legs?" But oh know, no aspirin use at all for these cave men, just have the woman lay back and take the man's seed.

Comrades like I keep reminding you, I just ain't that creative enough to make this silly stuff up.

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notsogullible 2 years, 3 months ago

Creative you are not but "yella belly shirts" you are Tal. My God let's have some sensible contribution from you for ONCE!!

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bee_deanne 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't agree with this. What about the other children the parent/s may have? Sending mothers and fathers to jail, and leaving their other children may cause them to rebel and become a danger to society. Yes, parents are to be held responsible for their childrens behaviour but I don't think sending them to prison is the key to solving the problem.

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Truth 2 years, 3 months ago

Tal Russell said: "never in the history of our Bahamland have we ever held another accountable for the actions or misdeeds of others, children or not." That is the whole point of Mr. McCartney's statement. It's time to start holding people accountable. To bee_deanne, nowhere did Mr. McCartney advocate for sending anyone to prison, but if you start charging parents before the courts - because they are responsible for their UNDER AGED children - that means knowing where they are at ALL times. What Mr. McCartney points out is the law...this is not something new that he is making up. If we start enforcing this law and the state hold parents responsible for their children's actions, then Tal Russel and all others, maybe we will begin to see some responsible parents. And if they are not prepared to take care of the children, stop having them all over the place. I read the Child Protection Act that Mr. McCartney referred to and this is what section 34 says, "Every widow and unmarried woman is hereby required to maintain her own children, and every woman having children to whom any man is primarily bound under section 33 to maintain, is hereby required to maintain those children in the event of his failing to perform his obligation."

If parents are doing their jobs in raising their children and they cannot control one or two of the knuckleheads, then they should turn them over to the state, particularly if they are heading on the path to prison anyhow. So Mr. McCartney is right, one step in this fight against crime is to start holding parents more accountable for the actions of their underage children. Use a couple delinquent parents as examples, and the word will start getting out to the other delinquent parents, and you will see how quick they get their delinquent children under control. Way to be forward thinking Mr. McCartney.

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TheFixer 8 months ago

I also agree with this article, parents should indeed take care of their children and have them under control. Anyway, sometimes accidents happen and children do stupid things. When that happens parents should hire for themselves a good lawyer like Larson.

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JayJames9 6 months ago

I believe at a certain age of the child's life, that they're going to want to make their own mistakes to fit in with a crowd to find a sense of belonging. Parents should not be held responsible for their child's after a certain age. Between the ages of newborn and 10 years old then the parents should be responsible because, between those ages its crucial for your child to know the difference between right and wrong. Any ages after that the child knows or should know. They know exactly what they are doing. They should be charged with their crimes as if the were an adult. Seriously and all you that are agreeing aren't looking at the bad part of this. If you getting fined for something your child did when they are legally old enough to get a job and don't have one you are losing out on money and your child is taking advantage of that while you still paying of those fines. Think about this before you make assumptions I would really like to sit down and talk to the dumb government officials in this messed up country to tell them that there's a better way. There way is majorly flawed and there's a greater one.

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