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Old 24-12-2012, 06:02   #46
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Letís Hope you never need it, Mark - I really would not know what to do if someone came in- I have been boarded while sleeping and never woke up Ė I found foot prints on the deck as the person walked all around the deck, with my large hatch wide open ,me sleeping right below it, looks like he stood there watching me sleep then left- nothing missing, but I donít keep anything above deck worth stealing usually except the dink/engine

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Old 24-12-2012, 06:20   #47
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

It seems to me that anything the guy did to physically resist would have resulted in the murder charge. The robber would have been much more likely to have drowned if he had been hit with any sort of chemical spray, but the advantage may have been that the guy would have just floated out to sea. Often legal issues often turn on the choice of wording used by a witness, in this case Eric. If he had said the man jumped into the water after a short scuffle, instead of saying he had thrown him into the water, he might not be sitting in Jail right now, then again maybe the police chief was the guys brother and it would have made no difference.

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Old 24-12-2012, 06:21   #48
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
And have some ballast stones to sink anything floating too close to incriminate you..

I thought that was what the kedge anchor is for?
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Old 24-12-2012, 06:28   #49
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

So let's say that you dump the body offshore. Do you proceed to the next port w/o clearing out or do you go back in and quickly clear out? What are the penalties at the next port for not clearing out? Just curious.
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Old 24-12-2012, 06:46   #50
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Evidently, the alleged crime occured on May 12; and Eric Sommer was indicted (murder) on June 13, 2012

Excerpted from the

St. Lucia Magistrates Court
PRELIMINARY DOCKET Ė Gros-Islet Case Management for Magistrate Michelle Louis
DATE: 13th June, 2012

29 - SLUCRD2012/1053
Pc 517 Bertrand Joseph v Eric Sommer
Addit. Parties: Defendant: Eric Sommer
Police: Pc 517 Bertrand Joseph
MURDER -- Murder on 05/12/2012
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Old 24-12-2012, 06:47   #51
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Ram View Post
Letís Hope you never need it, Mark - e
Its better than nothing. And thats what all cruiser have... Nothing.

Note I said all cruisers. I have never seen a cruiser locked up at night in the Caribbean. Many, but not all, lock up when they are off the boat, but zero, zip, nada, lock the bad guys out when they are on board at night.

But at home in downtown Australia/USA/UK etc we would nver go to sleep with the front door unlocked and clearly open.

It is a bit of a thread drif t fromthe OP, but to avoid being in this guys circumstances we have to evolve the security we use on a day to day basis so we are safe from incident and repercussions.
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Old 24-12-2012, 06:55   #52
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
I get damned sick and tired of third party insinuations about the professional ethics of people in my profession. Most journalists try desperately hard to get both sides of a story.

Journalists have a job to do and that is to report the KNOWN facts. Journalists are not the police! Columnists, not news journalists, provide opinion. Opinion and speculation do not form the journalist's stock in trade.

Bitter cynics aside, there is only so much a journalist can do; and do not forget that every piece of good news information you receive through the television, radio and press is from professional journalists such as myself.

Certainly, journalists must ask questions, but the outcome cynics require, provide that journalists have unhindered and perpetual access to people who can answer these questions. Such is not always the case.

Incidentally, one question I would be asking is how did the alleged assailant get onto the boat in the first place, given that he was a poor swimmer and had to swim to shore?.
Perhaps, but everyone has their stereotypical perceptions including yourself. Be honest, what is your opinion about lawyers, government workers, investment bankers? And why do you care about what others think anyway? No one can hurt my feelings because I do not care what people think about me. I am happy with who I am. If they like me fine, if not that's ok too. Stop whining, man up!

It is my perception that almost all media outlets have a bias whether intentional or not...and they always have.
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Old 24-12-2012, 07:48   #53
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

As has already been pointed out, before we jump to conclusions we would need to know the facts. Firstly, it should be understood that St. Lucia is not a judicial backwater with kangaroo courts; rather, it is a common-law jurisdiction with the same rights to a fair trial including the right to counsel, the same standard of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt), the same onus of proof (on the prosecution), the same right to remain silent, etc. as other common-law jurisdictions around the world. Secondly, the judges are not merely local hacks with policitical connections, but rather jurists who are appointed after multiple interviews in a selection process that involves qualified applicants from other common-law jurisdictions around the world. While injustices can occur in St. Lucia, as anywhere, we make a grave error in assuming that they are systemic ones.

Secondly, as has also already been pointed out, this is not a charge that has been filed by the police with no oversight, but rather an indictment that has been preferred after a grand jury proceeding that would have entailed the calling of evidence on behalf of the prosecution.

We also should not assume that local investigative techniques are a joke. I know from a homicide trial that was presided over by a friend of mine in Antigua 18 months ago, that the police have access to outside agencies for forensic analysis including experts from the international medical school of the University of the West Indies at Grenada and, if sought, from New Scotland Yard.

We also have no idea what evidence exists with respect to the matter. While media reports seem to suggest a clear-cut case of self-defence, we do not know the source of the information provided to the media. Certainly in many juriisdictions (and with its English antecedents I suspect that St.Lucia is one of them), there is typically great concern by both the police and the prosecution services that cases not be litigated in advance in the media - precisely so that they can ensure an unbiased jury when the matter comes to trial. Simply put, we cannot assume that the police or prosecution have revealed their case, or the evidence that supports it.

While at first blush, based upon incomplete information, this appears to be a case of self-defence, it must be understood that at common law, self-defence is only available to those who used no more force than is reasonably necessary in order to defend themselves. To put it at its most basic, one is not entitled to kill a shop-lifter, or even an person who is attempting to commit burglary on a boat unless it was reasonably necessary. Again, at its most basic, think of the burglar who is fleeing when shot in the back.

Others have already referred to the fact that it is not uncommon in serious charges for a non-resident of a country to be held for trial without bail and again, it is not unusual for murder trials to take a year, or even longer to come to trial.

In sum, to this point there is nothing to suggest that an injustice has occurred.

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Old 24-12-2012, 07:57   #54
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

"I get damned sick and tired of third party insinuations about the professional ethics of people in my profession. Most journalists try desperately hard to get both sides of a story" ...

It's not the fault of the journalists. Some come into the biz, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, full of idealism and truth spirit. Then, when they go to work, they discover the gatekeepers: the buzzsaw that is spun at maximum RPMs against those who subscribe to any menu that does not list the trite, flavorless polenta normally put on the breakfast plate of the reading public ...
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Old 24-12-2012, 07:59   #55
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

I think there is a lot more to this story than we know right now. Drug deal gone bad?

St. Lucia doesn't strike me as a place that charges a person with MURDER for no reason. They really wouldn't have any upside based on a tourism economy to wrongly charge a person with such a grevious crime. They also wouldn't like to house the person in their jail for the 20 years or so sentence. FWIW, I don't think murder is a life sentence in most countries outside of the US.
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Old 24-12-2012, 08:21   #56
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Then you will be in jail for the rest of your life.

What do you not understand about "the rest of your life"?

You can NOT go killing people because some poor black person is trying to steal a bucket off your deck.

Now, the "rest of your life" means how long?

You can not kill people!

Remember if you kill some Caribbean local and are charged with murder and you finaly get to court in a years time hence... Who are the jury going to be? 12 cruisers? Or 12 local people who know, or know of the decesaeseds family?

So instead of blowing their frigging heads off you use capsican spray, or a flare gun or something non leathal. Not a shot gun.

Lastly, go pull up a Google Image search of the inside of a USA jail. Now do a search on a third world jail. Do you really want a year in the third world jail while you try to prove your "rights"?
Easy compadre'. How do you ascertain "killing people" & "blowing peoples head off" in my post?

Having said that & after reading other comments, I know first hand the importance taking initiative in a potential altercation. Nothing say "hello" like a winch handle or a flashlight to the face.

Back to my original point, I wish the best for the gentleman.
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Old 24-12-2012, 08:42   #57
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Ram View Post
Mark , that screen may help you sleep at night, but by looking at it,(and I could be wrong here) seems one good stiff kick with your weight behind it from a 200 pound man and its gone? Then what?
Then what?

Well, then "you" are awake - and can decide WTF to do (run, hide, scream, shout......or poke with a stick and even shoot! ).

The alternative is to keep on with the Zzzzzzz's and wait for the intruder to either wake you up. or for him to decide not to bother with that formality. (best time to kill folks is when they are asleep - as they ain't invented a weapon yet that can be used from the land of nod ).

Me would prefer the MarkJ approach, at least it's a fighting (or running away!) chance. YMMV.
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Old 24-12-2012, 08:45   #58
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Re: In Prison in St Lucia

I have a relative who I a state cop, I asked him once the thought process about pulling his gun, His responce, what he was taught is "Better to be tried by 12 then carried by 6"
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Old 24-12-2012, 09:20   #59
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I am French speaker: this is what I understand from the Fench media.
The journalist say "he denied" for the murder.
They also say "he pushed him back to the wather".
Next step is 18 Jan for a new audience but not yet a trial.
Eric's father asked the Foreign Office Minister's help.
The guy is cruising for more than 15 years...
There was a report 1h ago in the French TV..
Now let's wait for the justice. But whatever we think about journalists, in France when they "take position" for someone they did their job to try to get the truth.
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Old 24-12-2012, 09:20   #60
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

[QUOTE=Morgan3820;1114030]Stop whining, man up!QUOTE]
I stated my opinion and defended my profession; you merely had a whinge. There is a difference between a private thought and a public statement.

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