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March Madness 2019

Premier pauses Spent Convictions Bill

It’s the first bump in the road for Government and its ambitious agenda of around 30 bills for the current Legislative Assembly meeting.
The Spent Convictions Bill is supposed to streamline the process for Caymanians who’ve had a criminal record, but are trying to turn their lives around.
Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin opted to hold off on a final vote, however so he could address doubts expressed in the LA Monday night.
Debate on the bill, which occupied most of Monday’s sitting, was placed on ice, at least temporarily.
Premier McLaughlin moved an early adjournment of the House before responding to concerns raised by Northside MLA Ezzard Miller. He says while the bill was well intended it contains key defects, clashing with other laws.
“Suspended sentence, including a suspended sentence supervision order referred to in Section 21 of the Alternative Sentencing law seven years. I thought the main purpose of the Alternative Sentencing Law,  particularly with the Drug Court was that no criminal record would be recorded,” Mr Miller questioned.
Premier McLaughlin, who tabled the bill, says he would review the issues pointed out and address them in his response Wednesday. Meanwhile amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Law were approved in the House allowing for cannabis oil use in Cayman.
MLAs welcomed the move, but expressed concerns over sourcing and importation.
Challenges, which Premier McLaughlin says, still remain.
“There are issues, of course, of cross border transportation because even in certain parts of the United States where the drug may be available like California from a Federal standpoint it is still not generally legal,” he said.

He described the Bill as a chicken and egg situation. The bill is expected to head to committee stage when the LA resumes at 10 am Wednesday.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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