Should Fray go to prison?

October 13th, 2009

Stephen Fray, the 22-year-old man convicted and charged with the  attempted hijacking of a CanJet charter flight at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, on Sunday April 19, was sentenced by High Court Judge Sara Thompson-James to serve 20 years in prison.

The sentence was significant in sending a clear message to potential hijackers that this was unacceptable and criminal offence that attracts harsh penalties.

Fray made international headlines when he walked past security and took over the aircraft with several passengers on board.

Although the judge handed down a sentence of 83 years, Fray will only serve 20 years at hard labour. This is because the sentences will run concurrently.

Nevertheless, concerns have been raised that because of Fray’s mental instability he should not have been given such a harsh sentence. Should Fray’s mental status be a consideration in handing down his sentence? Should he have been sent to a mental institution instead? Was the sentence fair? Have your say…


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11 Responses to “Should Fray go to prison?”

  1. BOB says:

    why not?… he committed the crime….and further more i am sure that there are people like him and worst who are in lack up in Jamaica as we speak…..so yes he should serve his time….

  2. Shazay says:

    Seriously, I do not intend to be harsh, but somehow I don’t think he is mentally incapacitated- That’s just some story cooked up by his lawyers, doctors and influential parents. It is just interesting how we are all going on about this because Fray is apparently a very ‘decent young man’. Would we have reacted this way to his sentence had he been a poor ghetto youth with no influential lawyer or doctor to present a picture of a poor misguided young man?

  3. Pierre says:

    Provisions do need to be made for offenders who are mentally ill. One could have a special section for them in a mental institution or in a prison where they could get the necessary treatment.

  4. Apple says:

    Should Fray’s mental status be a consideration in handing down his sentence? – Of course it should be considered but at the moment I think his mental status is still questionable.

    Was the sentence fair? I think he could have received a harsher punishment in order to send a stronger message. Jamaica does not tolerate hijackers.

  5. george bailey says:

    Don’t you see this is a young person with mental problems..sending him to your turkish ,sorry i mean jamaican prison will do no good for such persons,just shows how upside down you people have left the jamaican society,you have murderers walking the streets,getting off with threats to witnesses and little technicalities,yet you send a young one needing psych help off for 20 plus years

  6. rick says:

    him fi go jail. just because him family have money. old saying says different stroke fi different folks. unfair

  7. CONNIE says:

    I THINK THAT MR FRAY IS A VERY SICK YOUNG MAN,I AGREE THAT HE SHOULD BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND THAT HE DID SOMETHING WRONG, BUT BEFORE HE CAN HE WILL HAVE BE TREATED SHOULD HE GO TO JAIL MY ANSWER IS NO BECAUSE AT THE TIME HE COMMITTED HIS ACT HE WAS IN A DIFFERENT PLACE IN HIS BRAIN I THINK HE SHOULD BE PUT IN A MENTAL HOSPITAL AND GET THE PROPER TREATMENT.I AM SORRY SO MUCH OF OUR PEOPLE SUFFER LIKE THAT AND INSTEAD OF TREATMENT THEY GET BAD TREATMENT.

  8. ka07 says:

    No he should not go to priosn if he is deemed to suffer from a mental illness, he should be provided with support regarding his illness, being in prison is not going to help, neither will it change a situation that has already happened, nobody was hurt as far as I’m aware, however, the tax payer will end up paying for this re: the time he spends in prison

  9. Sheila says:

    We need to think rationally about this situation and take emotions and synicism out of it. If Mr Fray is mentally ill, then he should be committed to a mental institution. The aim of the state committing individuals who have been deviant should be for rehabilitation. For a Jamaican with means of travelling outside of Jamaica to hijack an aircraft with no apparent motive, he has to be sick!!!

  10. trouble says:

    A bajan man murdered a tourist in barbados he only got ten years. In the UK a black young girl singer was punched hard in the face, by a almost thirty years old man. He suddenly claimed mental illness. He is now in a mental hospital. In jamaica a man stick up a plane, then changed his mind and hand in himself, he got twenty years, what a stupid system

  11. Brett Hughes says:

    This sentence is harsh, relative to the harm the perpatrator caused.

    While it certainly sends a message aimed at deterring others who would attempt such a thing, where is the relationship between harm incurred and the severity of the punishment?

    As I understand society and crime, most people who would be inclined to carry out such an act are not really too intersted in reading law reports or newspaper articles. The fact remains that criminals are not deterred by extremely punitive sentences. If they were, the USA would be the safest country in the world, given that many states use capital punishment for serious crimes, with no appreciable reduction in murder rates.

    No one was hurt in this incident. Perhaps it speaks to the appearance of justice being served, rather than being meaningfully connected to the nature of the act. Can’t have the tourists get spooked by something like this, therefore the justice system will come down heavy in order to demonstrate that Jamaican authorities are onside.

    Essentially, this young man made an egregious and ill-conceived plan that went awry, but now he represents yet another lost life…of course he should receive a judicial sanction, but one that leaves room for redemption and rehabilitation. Even more so if the man suffers from a bona fide mental illness.

    Perhaps my perspective is warped because I live in Canada, a country where murderers walk free after serving 2/3rds of a “life” sentence (“life” meaning 25 years MAXIMUM, barring some sort of serial killing). So effectively, a man can open his gun wantonly and indiscriminately on a city street, killing a bystander, and end up charged with 2nd-degree murder, whereby he will leave prison after about 16 years (or less if he’s been a good boy in the joint). This is the opposite extreme in what appear to be comparably imbalanced justice systems betwen our two countries.

    In conclusion, these sorts of lenghty and punitive sentences should be meted out to the likes of the rude bwoys who willfully and wrecklessly opened fire on a man driving his young children to school, or who murdered a deacon as he preached near Mo Bay, St. James. At least this would seem commensurate to the act committed and the resulting harm to innocent human life.

    20 years of hard labour for delaying a jet and giving some people a pretty good scare?

    Madness.

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