Government Looking to Strengthen Penalties for Threatening Words and Behavior
The Government is looking to up the penalty for persons found guilty of use of threatening words and behavior. Cabinet gave its stamp of approval for this amendment to the Criminal Code which will also see these acts upgraded from a petty offense to a serious offense. The announcement came today in the weekly Cabinet Brief. Speaking on this matter was Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries: “We have seen across the world where there are attacks and threats being made against various public officers and personalities in the media. In some countries journalists are even killed and we have recognized that there is a sort of imbalance in the legislation. Those individuals who are very public individuals and who are often times targeted are not protected under the legislation. If an assault happens it is considered to be a common assault, which the penalty is very low. And so we recognize the importance of protecting these individuals because they have certainly a high presence in society and it is necessary that they are offered at least the protection of an aggravated assault charge.”
In related news from Cabinet, is the approval of several reforms to the criminal justice system. Specifically, the plan is to establish a system for plea agreements aimed at addressing the backlog of cases in the court system. Additionally, it was agreed in Cabinet that there would be a repeal of the Penal System Reform Act that will see new and amended provision when it comes sentencing. Essentially, this section would look at alternative sentences for convicted persons. Cabinet also announced the introduction of the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act whereby criminal records could be expunged on the grounds that conditions and rehabilitation requirements have been met.