Monday, May 28, 2012

Rena Ram: Soft Sentence

Last week, justice time for the ill-fated container ship Rena's skipper and navigation officer.
Maritime NZ brought six charges against Capt.Mauro Balomaga and five against Leonil Relon after they ran Rena aground, causing one of our worst maritime accidents. The men were heavily criticised for their incompetence and for deliberately trying to deceive officials - NZHerald documents the onboard cover-up. Both were charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by altering the ship's documents, a charge carrying a max.7yr.prison sentence. They pleaded guilty, and got 7mths. WTF???!!!
Judge Robert Wolff said some may think that's too light (no shit, Sherlock!), but bore in mind that both men had been vilified in the community, plus they'd be serving their sentences away from home, here in NZ: "It would be a mistake not to recognise that, as foreign nationals, whatever sentence you serve here would be harder than on any resident in this country to serve."
Maritime NZ is happy with the outcome. But is the general public, esp. those affected by the spills? After all, these two pillicks get out after only 15 weeks. That's right, less then four months behind bars and then home they go. Not bad (for them), when you consider the impact on NZ; the 7-YEAR bullet they dodged; the cost to Rena's owners; and what of the clean-up bill? THAT particular subject has been absent from the spotlight of late.
Judge Wolff took into account in sentencing, the mens' vilification in NZ and that they'd be locked up here rather than at home. Awwww, precious!!! He seems to forget the luxury of OUR prisons compared to ones in the Philippines! And being isolated from public contact in jail nullifies the impact of any vilification: I suggest the guilty men have scant regard for what we kiwis actually think of them!
Judge Wolff has delivered a limp-dick sentence, the like of which is becoming far too common-place. Why NOT hit 'em with the maximum sentence? It's well-deserved.

1 comment:

Liz Clark said...

Limp Biscuit sentencing seems to be the norm in this country.

Conclusion for light sentence despite causing millions of dollars of damage and death of wildlife FAIL!