Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Archive for October 2005

Justice Minister dishes up more of the same

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Justice Minister Irwin Cotler had the opportunity to do something positive to stem the rising tide of crime in our cities this week with Bill C-70, the act designed to amend the Criminal Code to restrict the blindly stupid use of conditional sentences in our provincial courts.
But, as with everything this Liberal government does, he booted the opportunity. The bill does nothing it is being touted as doing. Nothing.
And for some reason, MADD is applauding this sleight of hand by Cotler. After generating over 30,000 names on a petition to get the fed’s attention on this issue, they are pleased when he says he is doing something about it, but does nothing.
Conditional sentences were first foisted on an unsuspecting country back in the mid-90s. Ostensibly, the concept was to give judges an alternative to jail in cases that were non-violent in nature and where there were circumstances that indicated the accused would benefit from a non-custodial sentence. In concept, it was still meant to follow the other provisions on sentencing in the Criminal Code in which the protection of the public was a salient factor.
But something happened along the way to allow the courts to give conditional sentences for all manner of crimes even manslaughter. Despite calling this Bill an “initiative to restrict the use of conditional sentences for violent crimes,” it doesn’t.
Apart from banning the use of conditional sentences for anything terrorism or organized crime related, this new Bill C-70 gives judges all the wriggle room they need to ensure the status quo is maintained when he wrote in the phrase, “exceptional circumstances.” Perhaps MADD forgot to read that part or maybe they actually trust these guys.
In many municipalities, voters are gearing up for local elections next week. Listening to talk radio and reading the papers, it seems quite clear that crime and high taxes are the main issues this time around. Admitedly, it is the federal government that can do the most on those two issues .
Unfortunately for the voters, the last election was hijacked by the spin doctors and they managed to convince the electorate that the election was all about protecting public health care and Stephen Harper was scary. And a majority of Canadian lemmings bought it.
There is another election coming soon. The Liberals are gearing up for it already and the bill introduced by Cotler is designed to convince the country that they are getting tough on crime. But, when one actually scratches beneath the surface, it’s clear it is the same old stuff. All sizzle, no steak.
One hopes the electorate, and MADD, figure this out before the writ is dropped.
Leo Knight
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Written by Leo Knight

October 30, 2005 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Liberal sleaze laid bare

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Pure unadulterated sleaze.

If there was ever any doubt that the Liberal Party of Canada was corrupt to the core, yesterday’s release of the testimony of Jean Brault, Paul Coffin and the Sultan of Sleeze, Chuck Guite, ought to have removed the blinders from even the most naive of the editorial board of the Toronto Star, the unofficial organ of the federal Liberals.
Depictions of gifts, benefits and Formula One tickets are bad enough, but the direction made by Guite to make a $50,000 donation to Quebec Liberal leader Jean Charest’s campaign and recover the money by padding govenment contracts shows the core corruption that ought to even make Paul Martin blush with embarrassment.
But it won’t.
Martin and his cronies are already planning how to spin the next election which is supposed to be called after Justice Gomery releases his report which is sure to be damning.
Wait for it, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will continue to be painted as “scary” and Martin will cluck his tongue about how “unacceptable” the advertising scandal is and how he took action when he finally found out about it. And the editorial board of the Toronto Star will fall in lock-step with Martin and his corrupt government. Again.
The picture illustrated by Adscam is depressingly familiar. The Liberals give out dubious contracts to friends and cronies worth millions and a portion of the money gets funnelled back back in various Liberal election war chests which is used to ensure they can remain in power to continue the cycle over and over and over again.
And make no mistake about this, Adscam is only one method the Liberals used to accomplish this. In fact it seems to me it was only a small part of it.
Mr. Justice Gomery described the practice quite accurately when he said, “If it was a drug deal, it would be called money laundering.” Remember that the scam was overseen by Alfonso Gagliano the former accountant to Augustino Cuntrera, the de facto head of the Caruana – Cuntrera crime family and that observation becomes particularly more poignant.
And Adscam was only a piece of chump change compared with the so-called ‘Shovelgate’ scandal where $3 billion was administered through the HRDC ministry in dubious grants and sponsorships and job-creation projects to Liberal friendly groups, companies and organizations. A scandal that spawned, I might add, 19 separate criminal investigations and has seemingly disappeared off the radar screens.
Neither former Prime Minister Jean Chretien nor the current PM ever called a public inquiry into that scandal despite the fact that it involved more than ten times the amount of money in question in the Adscam scandal. I guess for Paul Martin, that was “acceptable.”
But it really doesn’t matter what program were talking about. The Liberals are all about staying in power to funnel taxpayer money to their friends and insiders who then launder the money back to the Liberals who use it to aide their re-election aspirations.
Their modus operandi has been laid bare by the testimony made available in the Gomery Inquiry. But don’t for a moment believe that Adscam was isolated in any way, shape or form.
Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

October 15, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Justice System is a charade

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For years I have been saying the justice system as it is administered in BC is fundamentally broken. Last week Attorney General Wally Oppal appeared to agree when he said we have to get tougher on habitual car thieves. And who could argue with him? It remains to be seen whether Oppal will back up his words with action that is desperately needed in that one area.

But, Oppal would be well-advised to broaden his point of perspective and look at the system as a whole. Yes, car thieves are a huge problem in BC. With a thousand cars a week being stolen by a small group of habitual thieves it’s a no-brainer for Oppal to finally say something needs to be done.

But this is British Columbia, a place that is a haven for those who engage in criminal activity.

Yes, a haven for the criminal class. A strong statement perhaps, but a very accurate one much to the chagrin of those of us who pay the freight for the system and the price for its failings.

The problem is acted out daily in our courts. Some thug is arrested for yet another slap in the face of society and appears in front of a Provincial Court Judge. The judge tsks-tsks for a while then metes out superficial bail conditions to an habitual offender already serving a term of probation, which he ignored, in the naive belief that some new conditions and some finger-wagging will have an effect.

It’s a charade and every judge instinctively knows it. Yet, they play their role without complaining about the futility of it all.

Allow me to give you an example. On July 2nd a young man was walking home from his girlfriend’s house in Richmond. He got jumped by six young men. Men he had never seen before and to whom he had absolutely no connection.

He was pepper-sprayed, kicked, beaten and stabbed. In spite of his injuries, he was able to call 9-1-1 and the RCMP dog unit that responded tracked down and arrested Patrick Gregory Adamczewski, a 19 year old criminal frequent flyer. He was charged with attempted murder. Charges, I might add, which were later reduced to aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. Lesser charges, but still, one would think, serious.

Note that these were not the oft-described “non-violent” offences for which the system routinely activates the revolving door on the front of the courthouse.

Adamczewski was arraigned and released on bail with the usual condition to keep the peace and be of good behaviour among other things. His mother showing a faith only a mother could, put up a $25,000 surety to secure his release. He ignored the court-imposed conditions to no one’s surprise.

On September 2nd he was arrested. When he was brought before a judge on the new charges, and despite his history, much of which I cannot tell you about to protect the young man’s privacy, he was again released on bail.

And with that, the courts, yet again, failed in their duty to protect the public.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

October 3, 2005 at 5:05 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment