“What we have to do, from the very beginning, is respect other people’s judicial system,”
“The country has had incidents like this before, and our tourism product has withstood them. Besides, when a judge makes a decision, Barbados’ tourism product is completely extraneous to that decision…”
Former Barbados Attorney General (and sometimes punching bag) Dale Marshall gives a lesson to Canadians as he talks about foreign criticism surrounding the sentencing of a tourist-killer.
Empathy? Sympathy? Public Relations in the real world? – Dale Marshall hasn’t a clue
Dale Marshall, former Attorney General under the defeated BLP government has a message for Canadians who are critical of the 10 year sentence given to the killer of Terry Schwarzfeld: Hey Canadians: None of your business, and whatever you think it won’t impact Canadian tourism in Barbados anyway.
Yup. That pretty well sums up what Dale Marshall said to The Nation when asked to comment upon the fact that some of the Canadian newspapers are critical of the 10 year sentence handed out by Justice Worrell to the killer of tourist Terry Schwarzfeld.
A pity that Marshall didn’t say something politic like, “I am unable to comment on the particular sentence, but all Bajans grieve what happened to Terry Schwarzfeld. We were shocked at this terrible crime and we ask our Canadian friends to remember that this was done by a single individual with a history of anti-social behaviour against others. We are grateful to the personnel of the Royal Barbados Police Force who worked long and hard to arrest Curtis Joel Foster and bring him to justice. Once again, our sincere condolences to the family of Terry Schwarzfeld. I never had the opportunity of meeting this remarkable person, but it is obvious that she is sorely missed by her family, her friends and her community.”
Nope. Marshall couldn’t say something appropriate. He just had to give the Canadians a lesson in respecting the independence of the Bajan courts that was the equivalent of “bugger off”.
Marshall never was very media-capable. When US authorities took down the builders of Barbados’ new prison – Alaska-based VECO – for decades of corruption and paying off politicians in exchange for contracts, Marshall met with VECO officials for 30 minutes and then announced “Ever-ting’ fine here!“
So… how’s the jaw doing Mr. Marshall? Rumour has it that ice works better than rum. 🙂
Here is the article from The Nation. As usual we repeat it here in full because that newspaper (like the Barbados Advocate) has a habit of erasing the past when politically expedient. You should head over to their website to read the article, but if it’s missing you’ll find it here…
Ten Rapped (link to The Nation online article)
by BARRY ALLEYNE
THE DECISION BY A BARBADIAN JUDGE to sentence a confessed killer to ten years in jail has come under serious international scrutiny. But a former attorney general says this country’s judicial sentencing system remains beyond reproach, and foreigners simply need to respect the jurisprudence and judicial system of countries outside their own.
On Monday, Justice Randall Worrell sentenced Curtis Joel Foster to ten years in jail for the unlawful killing of 60-year-old Teresa Schwarzfeld, a Canadian tourist, on March 18 last year. Foster had attempted to rob the woman and her daughter-in-law by using a mock firearm, but then ran down both with a piece of wood, hitting each in the head.
Schwarzfeld was airlifted from Barbados suffering from severe brain trauma and succumbed to her injuries in Ottawa on March 18, 2009.
“What we have to do, from the very beginning, is respect other people’s judicial system,” former attorney general Dale Marshall told the MIDWEEK NATION in an exclusive interview yesterday.
“What I can tell you, is that Barbados is not a country known for being easy on criminals when it comes to sentencing them for whatever crime.”
Marshall noted that judges simply don’t come up with sentences willy-nilly, and said he was sure Justice Worrell weighed all his legal options before sentencing 25-year-old Foster, of Bayfield, St Philip.
According to Marshall, the sentencing of Foster should in no way affect Barbados’ steadily improving ties to its Canadian market. “The country has had incidents like this before, and our tourism product has withstood them. Besides, when a judge makes a decision, Barbados’ tourism product is completely extraneous to that decision,” the former AG added.
Yesterday, Canadian newspapers and websites carried stories critical of the ten-year sentence, noting that Justice Worrell had admitted there were “extremely little mitigating circumstances”, and despite prosecutors seeking a 16 to 20-year punishment for Foster.
Schwarzfeld’s husband declined to comment on the sentence when contacted yesterday by Canadian newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen, but in a victim impact statement made last month, he said the family had been devastated by the loss.
That impact statement also revealed that widower Paul Cotsman still had difficulty sleeping, and now suffers from a disorder called tinnitus, where sufferers hear a constant ringing in their ears.
In addition, Schwarzfeld’s daughter-in-law Luanna, who was also attacked by the confessed killer, had to go through months of physiotherapy for an arm injury, and still suffers from post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The MIDWEEK NATION also tried for a comment from Attorney General Freundel Stuart, but was unable to reach him.