Voice of Reason
|Posted on July 31, 2017 at 10:35 PM|
The legal system has let us down at every turn. No longer is a victim protected. Perpetrators have rights victims have heartache. In a land of freedom the average citizen is held in bondage of not being able to protect themselves, their property, or the ones they love. When will the scales of justice actually balance themselves?
In a democratic society everyone has the right to legal representation and a fair trial. It is one of the founding policies of a free country. As citizens we must fight to protect due process as it sets us apart from countries of tyranny. Autocratic countries do not acknowledge human rights and liberty. Unfortunately the scales of justice have tipped in favor of the perpetrators rather than protecting the rights of victims. The time has come for the scale of justice to be calibrated.
Personally I have been affected directly and indirectly by the lack of accountability in our justice system. I am just one person and yet I have many stories to tell. Compound myself by the entire population of Canada and it is a scary reality that criminals are allowed to threaten or hurt law abiding citizens on a regular basis.
Directly I have been forced to live with the reality that the eight men who murdered my nephew have never been truly held accountable. The sentences that we handed down in his death ranged from one year conditional sentencing to five years behind bars. While I have forgiven the men that took my nephew from me I still feel that the justice system has let me down, my family down, and society down. I am not sure on the status of all these men now but I do know for fact that some have gone on to reoffend. They did not necessarily kill anyone else but they have been involved in other serious crimes. Where is the accountability in these sentences? What has the justice system done to ensure that they will not hurt others? It is a circle of crime committed, charges laid, time served, released, crime committed, charges laid, time served, released, and so on.
Then, there is the case of home invasion. As my family and I slept one night our garage was broken into and my vehicle was stolen. The youth that was arrested in my incident had broken curfew at the time of the crime. He had nearly fifty charges against him already and some were assault with a deadly weapon. Why was he not in a locked facility? At the age of fourteen he was already a career criminal. He ended up having to serve six months in a juvenile detention centre for his crime against my family. The day he was released from the centre he got high with friends and for kicks beat up two of my son’s friend sending them to the hospital. One was beaten so badly his jaw was broken and he was in the hospital for a long time. There was no rehabilitation for his delinquency and no accountability. He went on to commit crime after crime until eventually he committed suicide last fall. The justice system failed me, my community, and even the defendant. It was known that he did not have a social compass due to past trauma and abuse. If he would have been kept in a controlled environment where he could be monitored and guided others would not have been traumatized and he would not have ended his life so tragically.
The young man that stole my vehicle is a prime example of no accountability. After he served his time for my crime and then served more time for assault on my son’s friends I saw him shopping one day with his “care mother”. He was buying the same expensive shoes and clothes that I was buying for my sons. My oldest son had to earn his shoes. Through hard work on his part with chores and school at the end of June I surprised him with the shoes he wanted so badly. My youngest son got a new hoodie that he really wanted for working hard at his schooling and afterschool chores. But, here stood a menace to society buying expensive clothing and he had done nothing to earn them. I do not think he should have been dressed in rags but I do think that he did not deserve to have the same luxury as children that behaved themselves. I think what really upset me about all of this is that it was paid for by the government. He was in care and was provided a stippling for necessities. Where was the accountability in what he was spending his money on? He was out shopping with the same caregiver that was supposed to have him in custody by curfew time, 10:00 pm, on the night he broke into my home and stole my vehicle. It would have been after 11:30 pm because we were up and about until then.
The other thing that bothered me when I saw this young man shopping was that he personally owed me $1200 in retribution payments. The judge said I would probably never see it. Why was he not court ordered to pay his dues? If he would have bought nice $40 shoes at Walmart he could have paid me $100 with the remaining funds he had. Or, if he could not pay off his debit with money why wasn’t he ordered to work in kind? He should have had to work off $1200 worth of debt. This would have taught him accountability. Even if he did not learn from the lesson at least as a victim I would have had been given the satisfaction that he was accountable for his crime.
The vehicles in my driveway are broken into at least four times a year. Some of the times it is known who the individuals or group of individuals are that are going into vehicles and yet nothing happens to them. It is not efficient to charge these criminals because it takes up police time, court time, and money. They end up not being held accountable anyway so it goes unpunished. When does this unaccountability end? When they have moved on to break and enter of a home? Perhaps mugging with a knife? Kidnapping? What is the deterrent for them to change their ways if justice is never served?
On a small scale I think we have to start young. If a child in school is disrespectful or misbehaves they must be held accountable. I do not think giving children in school suspensions or out of school suspensions teaches them anything. Basically it is free time to not be in the classroom paying attention.
I am a firm believer if you have a grievance with how something is done than you should have a solution. The fact that I do not agree with the accountability of detention or suspension charges me to put forward new ideas. If a student is found defacing school property, littering, or being obnoxious in class for example than they should be made to pick garbage on the schoolyard. I think a bit of humility would teach them manners and accountability. They would be expected to wear an orange work vest and gloves and everyone would know why they were doing it. THEY DIDN’T BEHAVE! Perhaps a child is being mean to other students. That child needs to be held responsible for their actions. If it is a child of reading age then they could go to the library and put away books for the librarian and then made to read to younger students. This would give them ownership and perhaps encourage an interest in helping others. If the child is too young to read they could eat lunch and spend time with a special needs student under supervision. It could be used as a tool of empathy.
It is time for rapists to spend time behind bars indefinitely. No more should they be allowed out with a warning to the public that they are likely to reoffend. If there is no change in accountability then there is no chance of release. Why should the women of our nation be scared to walk down the street because of a depraved few? Why are reprobates allowed freedom while law abiding citizens are held in captive fear?
A strong example of this is the case of Michael Stanley from Alberta who in 2013 was released with a warning to the public that he was likely to reoffend and an electronic tracking anklet on. He removed the anklet and a manhunt ensued. He was eventually caught in the USA after recommitting crimes including raping a seventy year old woman! Why was he ever afforded the luxury of release when authorities knew he would reoffend?
There has to be balance in justice! If a rapist has not shown remorse, participated in programming that is designed to address the depravity of the charge, and not admitted their accountability then they should not be allowed to leave a secured facility. Lawmakers must make the needed amendments to our laws to include these perimeters. It cannot be as simple as a defendant has served their time therefore they are allowed their freedom. They must earn that right.
In the recent news is the warning out to citizens in Ontario about a childcare giver who poisoned her charges. She is thought to likely reoffend if given the chance. There are safety measures in place but she is still out in public. Children are not safe. She should not be allowed out in society unless she is unlikely to reoffend. Our most vulnerable are at risk. She is a criminal with a criminal mind. She has lost her right to freedom.
Carla Homolka possibly the most notorious female sexual sadist murderer in Canadian history was sentenced to twelve years in prison for manslaughter with eligibility of parole after three years served. She now resides in Montreal with her children and is able to volunteer on field trips within her childrens’ school. This is the most disgusting piece of information I have ever learned. I HAVE TO HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK AND SOCIAL SERVICES CHECK DONE BEFORE I CAN VOLUNTEER WITH MY CHILDRENS’ ACTIVITIES AND SCHOOL! Yet a demented human being like Homolka can be around children. Not only does she have interaction with other people’s children how on earth was she able to actually volunteer with them?
When people break in to your home you do not have the right to defend yourself. If you hurt the perp it is you that will be charged. It is your property: you paid for it, you worked for it, and you pay taxes for it, yet you do not have the right to defend it. There is something definitely wrong with the system!
It seems to me that petty crimes or crimes that involve money get larger sentences than brutal acts against others or crimes that are sentenced to prove a point. Take for example the case of Robert Latimer in Saskatchewan. Robert was the father to a daughter who spent every day of her life in constant and excruciating pain. When his daughter was twelve Robert carried out compassionate homicide. He lovingly took her life so she would not suffer anymore. Now, I am not going to argue whether I believe in this or not. But, what I am going to argue is how can a man that performed the ultimate act of love hold a longer sentence in jail than a group of men who brutally beat someone to death? Latimer spent seven years in jail while the longest term in the beating death of my nephew was five years. The sentences do not fit the crime!
It is time for a major revamp of the justice system. No longer should the bleeding hearts of the nation get a say in how justice is administered. It should be with a heavy gavel and strong sentence. Perpetrators do not have rights! When they made the decision to break the law they gave up those rights. Citizens need to hold our courts, judges, and lawmakers more accountable. I fear that if there is not a swift change we will see a spike in vigilantism. Everyday citizens are tired of paying the price of unlawfulness. Put criminals behind bars where they belong!