Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Archive for October 2007

Better late than never

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The ink was barely dry on a column I published last night wondering how the Liberal Party of Canada would handle the revelations about West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast MP Blair Wilson when, scant hours later, the Libs announced on their web site that he was done. And no, I am not claiming there is any connection. I’m just surprised at the speed of it.
During the Jean Chretien era, allegations such as this would have been met with denials, obfuscation and more denials until the country lost interest or got pummelled into submission. Not this time it seems.
Although, I am a little surprised that the Liberal Party is claiming that this is the first they have heard of allegations of impropriety about Wilson. I first wrote about him in January of 2005 and Terry O’Neill wrote on the subject in the Western Standard in the spring of 2006. So it is a little disingenous to claim this is new. But, better late than never I suppose.
Wilson should never have been the MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast. There was more than enough information about him as a business failure and alleged con man going back into the ’90s. But, for the Libs it seems none of it matters until it appears as a front page story in the mainstream media.
While I applaud the action taken by Stephane Dion, it is still long overdue.
Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

October 29, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Raging debate or raging lunatics?

with 3 comments

A couple of weeks back a provincial court judge on Vancouver Island earned himself a rebuke from a charter member of the legal industry sitting on the bench of the BC Court of Appeal when he wrote in a written response to a defense submission requesting yet another slap on the wrist for his client by way of a Conditional Sentence Order or CSO.
The judge, stricken with an unconscionable fit of common sense, said: “CSOs, as I have said repeatedly, have become little more than glorified probation orders . . . it is hard to imagine them having any effect on an offender except as a matter of inconvenience. “It is hard to imagine, as well, that these sentences have any credibility with the public.”

The Court of Appeal judicial tribunal evidently thought that bit of overt logic was beyond the purview of a lowly PCJ and said the comments were “not appropriate” and could “potentially undermine public confidence in the judicial process.”

What, in sweet Fanny Adams, are they drinking up there in the Court of Appeal Chambers? Do they actually believe that the public has any confidence whatsoever in the judicial process? Here’s some flash traffic for the silk-gowned elitists: The public has absolutely no confidence in the judicial process. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. The only people who have confidence in the system are the habitual criminals, gangsters and drug dealers who know the system will visit few, if any, consequences upon them time after time after time after time.

In the past couple of weeks though, there are a few signs that some common sense is starting to eke into the thinking of the politicians. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in the Throne Speech last week that he is fed up with the Liberals blockading their anti-crime initiatives that have resonated with voters across the country. This isn’t a right and left issue, it is a right and wrong issue. And any effort to stymie the changes to the Criminal Code legislation suggested by the Harper government is wrong.

CSO’s, first foisted upon an unwitting nation by Jean Chretien’s sad, tired and corrupt government, have absolutely got to go. They may, and I say may with an abundance of caution, be appropriate in some cases where the accused is in front of the courts for the first time. That’s it. CSO’s . . .house arrest . . .grounding, however you wish to describe the sham perpetrated upon law-abiding Canadians, has to be severely curtailed.

But there are those hand-wringers who really think that a leopard can change its spots and that the rest of us deserve to be victimized again and again. Consider this letter in the October 21st issue of The Province.

In the first place, I wish she were a voice in the wilderness, but she seems to reflect decades of thinking by the Liberal Party of Canada and far too many thousands of under-achievers in the federal bureaucracy. Notice the hint of “RACIST” in the letter? What absolute nonsense! The only part of it that made any sense was when she said the criminal justice system has been proven to be ineffective is stopping crime. She might have added the liberal created criminal justice system and she would have been closer to the truth.

I applaud the Prime Minister and his attempt to take control of our justice system and our streets as a result. But, his is not only to talk the talk. He must be seen to walk the walk. We shall see if he stays the course amid the shifting political winds. As for the letter writer, I wonder if she and the other members of the lunatic fringe would consider wearing an orange cone on their heads as they venture out in public. It would be much easier to shun them.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

October 22, 2007 at 6:26 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Damned if they do . . .

with 4 comments

I see that students at UBC are “outraged” by a couple of members of the RCMP who showed their human side instead of acting like jack-booted brown shirts. I mean really, have these self-aggrandizing twits nothing better to do?

And why in the world hasn’t someone in the RCMP told the student newspaper and any other media outlet thinking this is a real news story to take a hike?

It seems the Mounties pulled up to a group of students who were partying at a bus stop back in July. A number of the youths, if not all, had open liquor, an offence under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, a provincial statute. The police officers could have written summons’ for each of the students, arrested anyone being uncooperative and charged them with obstruction or simply carted a bunch of them off for being drunk in public. But they didn’t.

No, they did their job by getting them all to empty out their glasses and bottles and joked around with the students. You know, like real human beings.

We’ve seen it all before. If the police wade into a situation like that and try and “hard ass” the youths, a fight will evolve, people will go to jail and the police will inevitably be criticized by these self-same holier-than-thou jerks for being heavy-handed. This time they did what they had to do and did it without laying a single charge or putting anyone in jail. And they are still being criticized. Cops expect that theirs is a thankless job, but this is ridiculous. The RCMP should not spend one minute contemplating anything other than saying to anyone who asks that the members did nothing wrong.

Trust me in this, this is not a news story. It is nothing more that huffery and puffery by some self aggrandizing pinheads.

‘Nuff said.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

October 14, 2007 at 12:47 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment