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What did Judith really do?

Dear Editor,

One of the things that I try to impress on people in general is "logic and common sense," because again my father would tell us that common sense could take you where book sense cannot imagine.

I took my time to react to the Judith Roumou situation because I expected the legal minds to weigh in on it. What I expected was, in fairness to the legal system, that they would compare situations. I might be talking apples and oranges, but if memory serves me well prosecutors were called back home because they did not investigate and arrest a certain politician, and years after still have not. Reminds me of Parliament.

So, I was wondering if that is fair in comparison to what is happening with Judith. I believe that from the get go, when the prosecution got to know about Judith's mental condition they should have dealt with her as such. The man who commits murder and cannot be locked up because his mental condition played a factor in the crime is sent to the crazy house and is ordered to undergo treatment in a mental facility. I strongly believe that the prosecution should have taken those steps with Judith from the beginning.

What happened to the prevention? I worked on Curaçao from 1969 to 1975 with a population of umpteen times that of St. Maarten, and on many occasions the police was sent to the homes of out-patients of Rustoord (mental patients who were sent home, but had to report back for treatment periodically) to see why they had not reported for treatment and if necessary, take them or have the ambulance personnel take them to Rustoord for their treatment. Can that be done here also? Not to Rustoord, but to where ever they should go for treatment. Is there a will to help?

We are burdened with a very poor economy, (so to say because in my opinion the too money goes to the hands of those who do not need it and very little is left to share among us who dearly need it.) and integrity issues. Do we really need the Prosecutor’s Office wasting time on people who talk the truth, perhaps in an unconventional way?

There are certain things which happen to you in life that leave an impression on you. On July 14, 1972, while writing out a fine for a Dutch lady who had made a left turn without indicating the lady said to me: “Kun je niet beter achter echte dieven aangaan?” (Would you not be doing better by going behind real thieves?) Today, I would have had the appropriate answer for her, but at that time I wrote it on the fine as part of the explanation why she did not indicate her intention to turn.

The “Judith” situation took me back to that day, because there was a follow up. I was called to the boss’ office some time later and was told that I should not have accepted that declaration as an explanation why that person did not indicate her intention to turn left and that the fine would be annulled. At that time (1972), I thought it was a good thing that that was not a local person otherwise I would have heard about it on “Pueblo na palabra.”

As I got more experience in life and look back at that incident I can think of several real reasons why that fine was annulled. Mr. Merx repeated that common sense is for all of us, but being here I do not completely agree with him. We have 15 people who are supposed to represent all of us, but I believe that common sense is not the stronger sense of the majority of them. Common sense or logic would tell me that if I do not do what I am paid to do I will be ridiculed, graduating from who I am to what my function is. By the way, can we introduce a quota system for them? Pay according to production.

Common sense would also tell me that even though it might not be said to me in my face because of hypocrisy, my integrity is also questioned as well as my loyalty to the people as well as my trustworthiness. Having said that, and because I am a believer in who says A should also say B, I am obliged to quote cousin Clyde and say “when one lacks a conscience, wrongdoing becomes a habit.” This is not meant sarcastically, it is meant as a joke and that is what makes the world go around also.

Someone called me and told me that the truth does really set you free. He said if Judith “had thief” she would be still lock up, but what she say was the truth and the truth set her free. Hopefully Judith upholds her end of the deal (a well-known word in negotiating here) and does whatever she has to do in moderation and in accordance with legislature.

Did anybody stop to think that this whole thing might not be about Judith, but to be able to get to her computers and go through whatever information she has on others? Hopefully no one sees Judith in the wrong light. I hope they find out where the real integrity issues lie.

We, who openly voice our opinion, react to what we read and see, Judith pursues relentlessly till it is considered stalking, but so do the paparazzi and they get paid. Judith gets locked up. Hi Jos, don't become shy. Maybe, I should make a similar comparison to the members of government. Judith speaks the truth and is locked up; members of government are paid and get immunity to say whatever they want. Where is the fairness? And, what did Judith really do?

Russell A. Simmons

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