PM says prison boss recommended release of American tourist

20

Prime Minister Gaston Browne says it is Prison Superintendent Albert Wade who recommended that an American tourist convicted of ammunition possession be released from prison.

Shannon Martinez served only one day at Her Majesty’s Prison after being jailed for one year by a local magistrate.

Bullets were found in her bag as she attempted to leave the country.

In explaining how the woman was released, Browne told listeners on Pointe FM that he agrees with the decision.

“My understanding is that the prison superintendent, who, after the person would have been sentenced to prison, would be the person who would now be in charge and based on the circumstances wrote a report and recommended remission to the minister,” the prime minister told listeners to the radio station he founded.

Browne said it was “a good decision” considering the circumstances.

He said Martinez who was vacationing here with her family, “had no prior convictions neither here or in the united states.”

“Unfortunately she was negligent and forgot the bullets in her suitcase and for that person to have been separated from her children and from her husband for something as simple as that considering that it was not illegal to have a gun or ammunition in the United States.”

He said based on the circumstances the discretion was granted and denied that the woman was given special treatment because she is American.

“There are some people who are trying to argue that is different strokes for different folks but there is no such thing. Compassion was extended and I think it was the sensible thing to do and I don’t think there needs to be any big brouhaha about it.”

Browne the prime minister admitted that had the government not acted the incident could have diplomatic implications.

“I mean ultimately if we did not act it could have been a diplomatic issue too. I’m quite sure that US authorities would have been concerned that one of their citizens is being imprisoned for something as simple as that. It’s not that we acted based on any intervention by the US was reported, we used our own discretion.”

The prime minister said he has also asked the Attorney General and the prison boss to look at other prisoners who need to be released.

 

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages. Your content is delivered instantly to thousands of users in Antigua and abroad!
Contact us at [email protected]

20 COMMENTS

  1. This magistrate need some more classes ,if she left America came through antigua pass customs with the bullets and while leaving she still had them in her bag should have said something……….also people this could be part of a test to see how weak our airport security is so dont be blindsided by this fact also ……this is just dumb that she was sentence but let this happen to an antiguan leaving America coming here and lets see what happens

    • You’re most confused as acorrding to your comment. Especially the last part. The lady was sentenced according to the laws of Antigua and Barbuda. The magistrate don’t make the law, she only enforces it according to the law. The onus is on any person entering a country to know what’s wrong and what’s right. What’s liberal in one country might be offensive in the next. Ignorance is bliss. You who knows nothing and bashing someone who studied law is ignorant

      • Hey with other cases here after this law was passed did they served a day in prison and if the magistrate had no jurisdiction of this matter they could have gone to the high court her lawyer probably failed her ,the manager at bargain center paid 20,000 and he had gun and ammo the law gives them discretion,this law needs to be looked at again i believe we all know y this was made…..means no disrespect to rhe lady one bit am sorry if i came across cross…….was she a threat at anytime

    • You done know! Jail dem and throw way see key! Is it nonsense we are asked to consume as eloquence? Whistling to myself!

  2. My contention is that there is a proper way to go about things and whether it was recommended by Albert Wade or not, the proper procedures was not followed and what it boils down to is preferential treatment for an American visitor and an inappropriate intervention by the Government in order to facilitate this action. I am now calling on the Albert Wade, the Att General and the Prime Minister to review the situation of many of the prisoners and grant them the same pardon. Anything less than that would indicate a contempt for our people of Antigua and Barbuda.

  3. Antigua is one of the most corrupt places in the western hemisphere. For a cartoon country why hasn’t the script change…oh maybe the writers are just as corrupt!!!!

  4. “I’m quite sure that US authorities would have been concerned that one of their citizens is being imprisoned for something as simple as that.”

    If you found that something as simple as this does not determine prison, then why did you make the law?

    A few months ago there was an Asian lady vacationing in the region, and upon coming through customs she kicked up a storm and was sentenced to 14 days. She served her time and she left the state. How come the pm and no one else stepped in to help her?

    If I violate the laws in the US, you think they’ll let me go for something as “simple” as this?

    Now mind you, I’m happy that the lady is home and put if prison, but if nationals have to sit in that filthy place if a prison, why can’t a non-national?

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    It leaves a sense of corruption in our justice system. They we don’t all play by the same rules.

  5. Ya’ll got it all wrong..As a US citizen she would have a visit and inspection by a us official **a privilege all citizens have if held in a foreign country *** WHAT ANTIGUA IS AFRAID OF IS THAT ITS PRISON IS FAR BELOW THE THE HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS OF AN INDUSTRIALIZED NATION AND MEMBER OF THE UNITED NATIONS ** Dont want negative press..

  6. I find it rather contemptuous to even contemplate commenting on this issue as someone for political reasons will not see and understand what I write but think in terms of politics.

    Give me a break. Everything is politics even in Crystal clear matters.

    I feel obligated to speak out on this matter because of a similar experience I had a few months ago while on a business trip to Dominican Republic.

    I left Antigua my hand luggage was scaned and release as it was found to be in order. Arrived in Miami left the next day for Santo Domingo and my same hand luggage was checked and given the green light.

    On completing my visit I arrived at the airport and on security scanning my self same bag found a bullet.. I was detained for over six hours questioned and my unaccompanied bag was removed from the plane and checked.

    Security officials at the airport then deemed it an honest mistake and released me. Can you imagine me spending all weekend waiting to go before a judge or magistrate on the Monday morning?

    So let us think soberly that this could happen to anyone and show some class and empathy

  7. I am happy for her. But what about my cousins, brothers friend, who made a mistake and had a spliff in his bag in Antigua? Countries must act as countries and maintain laws for all. They should not have buckled to intimidation.

    These so-called Firefighters from Austin support the arrest of negroes for a spliff but talk about guns being legal. Who packs a bag and doesn’t know whats in it?

  8. MR BROWN, WHAT MAY SEEMS LIKE SMALL MATTERS TO YOUR GOVERNMENT IN ANTIGUA, IS BIG MATTERS IN AMERICA. YOU CAN’T JUST GO BEFORE AN AMERICAN JUDGE SAYING YOU SIMPLY FORGOT SOMETHING ELLIGAL WAS IN YOUR BAG AS AN ANTIGUAN, AND EXPECT TO RECEIVE DISCRETION. THE ONLY OPTION IS THE LAW AND PRISON. NOT DIPLOMATIC CONCERNS.

    IN THAT CASE, YOU SHOULD DIPLOMATICALLY NEGOTIATE THE RELEASE OF THOSE ANTIGUANS IN AMERICAN PRISONS WHO HAVE SIMPLE CASES. IF THERE’S AMMUNITIONS, THERE MUST BE A WEAPON. AND HOW DID THOSE AMMUNITIONS LEAVE AMERICA AND GET INTO ANTIGUA UNDETECTED AT BOTH ENDS?? THOSE KIND OF ISSUES ARE NOT RESOLVED IN JUST A FEW DAYS. THERE HAS TO BE SOME KIND OF ACCOUNTABILITY HERE THAT’S LACKING.

    TRULY, and TRULY, FAVOURITISM IS TRULY THE CASE IN THIS ISSUE.

  9. This is a great topic, it is topics like these I look forward to on good morning Antigua as apose to the nonsense they feature. It’s a sad day for Antigua when our own officials looks pass the very fact that our own holding center is inhumane and unfit for us residents and citizens . Yet, although happy to hear how this story unveils , sad that our own people could only watch with a mixture of sadness for themselves and a bit of joy for the released prisoner. Bullets or ammunition left in a suit case, isn’t anything new. This could happen to anyone anywhere “innocent until proven guilty” sentenced to prison , I think before this got to that point , a thorough investigation should have been conducted, detained for more than 48 hrs if necessary , before a decision was made. It’s just sad that other parents watches their children in that place helplesss while others gets certain privileges. My thoughts.

  10. GASTON CLOWN HAVE A BIGGGGG MOUTH. YOU SHOULD A HELD ON FOR THE MIGHT OF UNCLE SAM TO BEAR DOWN ON YOU. YOU IMBICILE, JACK ASS, BYE ELECTION, JEALOUS TREVOR WALKER FOOL YOU ARE. I’VE SEEN MORE MIGHTY MEN, REAL MEN, FALL. GO AHEAD, YR DAY IS COMING. GOD DON’T TAKE VACATION. THERE WERE MIGHTY MEN LIKE REUBEN HARRIS. LK COSMOS PHILIPS. WHERE ARE THEY NOW. YOUR TIME IS DRAWING NIGH. TOUCH BARBUDA WORLD ASS, I DARE YOU. GO AHEAD. TAKE A TRIP OVER THERE……..

  11. What should worry all of who travel is that the ammunition would have been in her bag when she travelled to Antigua. Therefore it follows that American security and screening is totally crap as it was not found on the flight from America.

  12. L June 18, 2018 at 9:15 am
    I believe this was an honest mistake by the fact that the bullets were still in her luggage when she was leaving. However, a couple major concerns here. First, how was she able to get on an international US flight with bullets in her luggage. Second, that our customs officers did not pick that up, but that’s kind of understandable, because they would have had to have searched her entire suitcase on arrival and we all know they don’t do that to everyone. Thirdly, the fact that she was sentenced to a year in prison the next day. I know she broke the law, but is that how this law is supposed to work. That is frightening. I am sure if she shot someone in public in front of hundreds of witnesses she would not get sentenced the next day. I understand the intent of this law, but something is definitely wrong in its execution. What if this happened to you?

  13. Wow this whole thing was son damn byass. If it was an Antigua who was so lucky to leave here with a box containing 20 rounds of 9MM bullets how many of you bloggers would say it was a mistake. Chups, prison was to inhumane for her but not the others. Chups this feels like one big insult.

  14. Anyone found with contraband whether bullet or gun or drugs can now claim it was an honest mistake and claim same as this white woman

Comments are closed.