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Machete that Robbed Supreme Court Justice Breyer Given Probation, Community Service

by D’Leereeus Johnson, new DP staff

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012,

(BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS) United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has persuaded prosecutors of the Caribbean nation of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis (aka St. KittsNevis) to grant leniency to the machete used in the robbery of him and his house guests two weeks ago.  

     The robbery occurred February 9th, when a man armed with a machete stormed into Breyer’s private vacation home on the island of Nevis around 9:00 PM, holding the Justice, his wife and another couple at bay while he successfully made off with $1,000.   No one was injured in the ordeal, according to Commissioner C.G. Walwyn of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, however the machete used in the robbery was found near the Breyer residence, where it was promptly taken into custody by police.

   Island prosecutors had been preparing to seek stiff penalties for the rusty machete, although after passionate entreats by the liberal–leaning Breyer, Saint ChristopherNevis officials said they had decided to give the 18-inch machete only six months probation, along with 200 hours of community service and mandatory psychological counseling.  

     “We value our residents, our tourists and their safety deeply.  That’s why we were going to throw the book at this particular machete,” said Commissioner Walwyn Thursday.  “But after repeated requests by Justice Breyer, we’ve skipped full prosecution and taken his advice on what should be the machete’s proper punishment.”

   Justice Breyer has remained silent on the incident and the machete involved, however his office released a formal statement Thursday:

“Justice Breyer is committed to social justice and fairness. This is why Justice Breyer urged Saint Kitts authorities show leniency upon this poor machete, and not be too quick to punish the machete involved before investigating its past and psychological profile.  As the timeless cliché goes: ‘People don’t rob people; machetes rob people...while other people just happen to be holding them.’  That is why we feel probation and community service is most suitable for this large blade.”

   Justice Breyer insisted authorities try to get to the root of the machete’s criminal mindset and try to rehabilitate it so it could resume a normal life, helping locals trim overgrown weeds and trees as most other island machetes do.  

   “This weed-whacker was scared, too, let’s not forget,” said St. Kitts–Nevis police spokesperson Sgt. Clarice Nadeau Thursday.   “And Justice Breyer recognizes that.”

     “We need to find out what caused this machete to behave this way,” Nadeau continued.   “Is there anything that happened to it when it was young?   We should see if there was any trauma it went through, beginning from its birth as a wee little needle.   Was there anything that happened to it as a tiny razor toddler, to its grade school years as a penknife, to its volatile teen years as a meat cleaver, to its fully machetelized adult years –we’ll find out what drove this rusty hunk of steel to such desperate actions.”

   Justice Breyer, 76, and wife Joanna have had a home on Nevis since the late 80s.   A 1994 Clinton appointee, Breyer and his wife have never had hostile run-ins with any cutting or chopping device on the islands. Saint Christopher–Nevis boasts of its low crime rate and docile machete population.  But some Nevis residents paint a different and more ominous portrait of the country’s machetes, saying the rich volcanic soil of the islands have made them ripe for cocaine production in recent years.

   Said Dutch resident Gertrude Helmut, a 22-year resident of Nevis, “Years ago I began noticing some machetes going out late at night, coming back in the morning all hyped up on something. Turns out they had been making extra cash at night hacking down coca leaves for cocaine producers.”

   “Trust me,” added Helmut, “you don’t want to encounter a 20-inch machete that’s been chopping coca leaves and soaked in coca nectar all night.  They’re wild, unpredictable creatures.  It’s best to keep your distance.”  

    St. Kitts–Nevis Police Commissioner C. G. Walwyn admitted a few “small, private cocaine patches” have been found on the small island−nation recently, however dispelled notions of an overall rise in cocaine production.

    Drug tests were conducted on the machete the night of the attack, however have not been disclosed.  But it would not surprise some Nevis residents if the tests are positive for coca nectar.  “And that will only help further (Justice) Breyer’s belief that this poor curved blade needs compassion, not condemnation,” said Commissioner Walwyn to reporters Thursday.  “If this machete was high on coca nectar it should go into treatment, not prison.  We already have it in (psychiatric) counseling, and it’s scheduled to begin its community service at one of our spas frequented by French tourists.”

   “Those French ladies need trimming just as badly as the vegetation along our roads and power lines,” added Walwyn. “And actually, forcing this poor machete to tend to Europeans’ overgrowth for two-hundred hours may be worse than jail. ...I can't think of anything better that could make it learn its lesson.”


 UPDATE: Thursday, February 23, 6:45 PM:  A suspect in the robbery of Justice Breyer has been caught by St. Kitts–Nevis police and has confessed to robbing at least five other tourists with a hunting knife.  Police released the man and are currently searching for the hunting knife involved.

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