Justice and Penal Issues · Local Issues

What Machel’s Sentence SHOULD Look Like

So, myself and two mentors of mine were having an almost-annual conversation about what Machel needs to do to make a clean sweep competition-wise for the Carnival season (much to my chagrin, his entry for Groovy Soca is gonna win it). Luckily, it at some point, had turned into a conversation much closer to my liking – what machel Montano’s prison sentence needs to be for justice to be served.

Now, by this time, the news that Machel would be free until almost the end of February had circulated far and wide. We had all agreed that it was a busy slap in Justice’s pretty little face, but one of the folks said that it looks like he’s going to get some time if the Magistrate was willing to give him time before the sentencing. I don’t know how he came to that idea, but what he said next was even more important – putting him in jail is not the sentence he deserves. There’s worse we can do to him.

We’re talking about a man who, last Carnival, walked away with $2.5 million dollars in one night! Then there’s winnings from Road March, his famous ‘Machel Monday’, the countless other fetes and parties and special appearances. And the precedent’s already been set for music artistes to make a music video or two in jail…

What they need to do Machel is truly community service…with a twist. I’m going to tell you guys what my mentor said…

He is to do 12 months of community service. Every weekend, he has to perform at a charity soca fete. All the proceeds of that fete will go to charity, but he’s not allowed to make any money from performing. Charity groups get to decide for themselves how much they’re selling tickets for – how much money they want to make on his head. He’s not allowed to do his own shows, he’s not allowed to fly out of Trinidad & Tobago. He has to perform, every weekend, at a charity fete, for free.

And, every time he goes on stage, he has to start every performance by telling the audience “I’m sorry…

When our justice system is prepared to hit every wrongdoer where it hurts so that they become better people, then maybe I’ll have just a little more faith in it…


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