Topic: Special Circumstances – Miminal Value

Topic: Special Circumstances – Miminal Value

In a case involving the illegal possessions of precious stones, the fact that a stone has a minimal value does not by itself amount to a special circumstance.” So I was reading on sentencing in Criminal law and I came across this statement that got me thinking of the worth of a woman that can be acquainted to a jewel. In law, we have what are called minimum mandatory sentences whereby such sentences are provided in the statute and the courts have no discretion to impose a lesser sentence unless there are special circumstances. In that regard minimum mandatory sentences need not be imposed where there are “special circumstances” or “special reasons”made by the accused to lighten the sentence.

What are special Circumstances?

These are facts made by an accused that lessen gravity of the offence.To qualify as a special circumstance the facts must be out of the ordinary either in their nature or extent. It must mean more than the natural consequences which flow from the imposition of the punishment prescribed. Each situation differs, based on the value judgement of the court.When a court makes a finding that there are no special circumstances, they cannot suspend the mandatory minimum sentence, meaning the accused person will get the mandatory sentencing enacted by the Act. Going back to my statement above, the fact that one has illegally possessed a jewel of minimal value does not amount to a special circumstance, meaning that one cannot use that excuse as a way of getting a lighter sentence since jewels are expensive.

What does that statement mean?

When something is of a minimal value it means that it is not of much worth.It is also a manner of showing that in place of that thing there is something that is worth more and valuable than that particular thing. In this case the courts acknowledge the fact that jewels are different, they have different colors , sizes and shapes, however every jewel is valuable, despite the fact that they cannot be of the same worth. One cannot devalue the worth of a stone no matter what the circumstances are .It basically shows that the value of the stone is resembled in where it belongs. Therefore it is very important to know where you place yourself as a woman. If you regard yourself as a jewel, your worth will never be devalued , notwithstanding the environment you are in . It is very important to know where you stand and to know your identity as a woman. Your value or worth does not change because of the type of stone you are. Neither are you devalued because of challenges you have faced in life for instance, if you have been divorced, your upbringing,rejected by another human being or a company, if you do not have money at that moment or when people have looked down upon you.

When you start walking, talking and doing things knowing that you are a jewel people will also start treating you like a precious person. A jewel can get into any place and come out shinier or brighter because it knows what it carries. In the last few years most women are rising to top levels of companies and even in leadership which is a great step in the right direction.So let us change the norm and fix what has been broken. Every human being should be respected and given the equal opportunity to advance and grow but it starts with you, as a woman. The statement above shows that the courts do not want to devalue the purpose and worth of a jewel despite the rankings of stones, because they know the value of being precious. In other words if you know your worth, you will not let any circumstance pull you down. Knowing your worth attracts kings and queens to your favor.

By Lawyer Tapiwa Chimanga Mujanji- Zimbabwe

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