Friday, November 24, 2006

Will it work?

Not much time to blog today, but I did want to mention the proposed 'reverse-onus' gun crime legislation. I would be a happy camper if this actually saw the light of day, but I am skeptical for a few reasons.

First of all, as Iggy says in today's Post, the courts may have something to say about it:

Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff questioned whether the reforms would withstand a challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"We're a country based on the presumption of innocence. I've yet to be convinced that this measure, which I think might do damage to the Charter principles of presumption of innocence, is good public policy," Mr. Ignatieff said in an interview with Global Television's Focus Ontario that will air this weekend.

Thank you again, Pierre Trudeau...

And, as the Sun editorial states, it's just a baby step in a whole long list of things that need to be done to stop pandering to criminals in this country. The Sun points out the need for a Conservative majority to be able to accomplish this goal. No wonder the Liberal cabal gave inmates the right to vote!

* * * *

Jack's Newswatch has a great post on this topic - "Reverse Onus!"


Alberta Girl said...

And meanwhile criminals and their lawyers continue through the revolving door of our criminal system.

Sometime, someone has to stand up and say enough is enough - judges must uphold the law - unfortunately for too long, they have been making the laws.

Will it work? I guess it is up to Canadians. I just know that every week we hear of murderers who are getting house arrest, or getting out on bail, only to commit crimes - and their lawyers (who in my mind are the worst of the worst) continue to fight to put the criminals back out there.

Maybe we should have a law where if a criminal commits a crime while out on bail - both the judge and his lawyer are heavily fined.

Sigh - I forgot, this is Hug a Thug Canada.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Maybe we should have a law where if a criminal commits a crime while out on bail - both the judge and his lawyer are heavily fined..

Hey, I like that idea! At the very least they should apologize in person to the victim whose life they have affected by being so wimpy.

Swift said...

The total criminal justice system needs to be totally reformed except the principal of innocent until proven guilty. Much can be done without chipping away at the most important principle in preventing innocent peopole of being wrongly convicted of crimes.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift, I agree, but first we need the collective will to do it. How do we deal with leftist Hug-a-Thug judges?

Anonymous said...

How bout' we just build guns that shoot the shooter... we could call it "Reverse Chambering".

liberal supporter said...

Lock everyone up until they can prove they should be let out. If you can prove we don't need an ankle bracelet welded on you, then you don't have to wear one.
A contract for 30 million jail cells would be one sweet deal for the prison industry. The ankle bracelet deal would be great too.

I think reverse onus could work, if there are wait time guarantees for the actual trial. We have to avoid it being extended outside of high probability firearms cases. What about compensation if it does turn out you were innocent?

Conservative supporter said...

Of course it will work, that's why lawyers and Liberal appointed judges don't like it - they make a ton of cash from the revolving door 'justice' system, this is going to cut into their big slice of the taxpayer's money.

40% of gun crimes were committed by people free on bail in the last year - if those people were not free on bail, they could not have committed those crimes.

Jane Creba would be alive. Her rights still matter, since we did not respect her rights in life, the least we could do is show some respect to her in death.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

...the least we could do is show some respect to her in death.

Very well said, CS.

Red Tory said...

Man, you guys really need to get a new songbook. This “Liberals are soft on crime” tune is getting really stale.

Anonymous said...

Well Red, stop playing the background music, and the Blues will stop singing it.

liberal supporter said...

They do excel in the rhetoric. Now they're waving a dead girl at everyone to show they're doing something. Disgusting.

But of course banning handguns "won't work". It would only give the cops an excuse to kill anyone in even a mildly threatening position, because they would already know the perp cannot possibly have a licence if handguns were banned. I think those people are less likely to commit crimes than those jailed "on suspicion".

PGP said...

Enforcing the law and protecting the public. Thats what the job of the justice system is.
Any member of the JS establishment who does not understand this needs to be removed.
And LS....You may fancy that the idea of actually incarcerating criminals is somehow a threat to your personal freedom but you are quite mistaken.
Your comment is the kind of black/white sophistry that makes a mockery of your own efforts to sustain any intelligent discussion.

Too bad! You have been making a lot of GOOD points for the last while...

liberal supporter said...

pgo: I have no problem with incarcerating criminals. The "reverse onus" locks up people who have not been convicted of crimes. I support it though, and expect there will be safeguards so those who are not dangerous, or innocent will be given normal right to be presumed innocent.

I think it is better to parole someone and be able to supervise them, then simply hold them until the sentence complete. But the sentences should be longer to start with. I don't favour the death penalty, since mistakes happen. But I do favour a "death by natural causes in prison" penalty, without a lot of automatic review.

Which was the "black/white" sophistry? Usually I can trace back to something I am reacting to when that happens, so let me know.

If you are looking at my argument for banning handguns, it was supposed to point out that police have to deal with uncertainty, such as whether a person with a gun is licenced, or whether there are legal guns in a home they are attending at. If registry says no guns in the house, they should feel more free to shoot anyone who is armed there.

PGP said...

LS..I was refering to your first comment.... "lock everybody up....."

I know you don't mean it! But taking the comment as a retort to the argument for greater restrictions on granting bail...or for granting parole etc. is what you seem to want.

I'm saying it's BS because the argument of our current government is that the 'System' is broken and the reason is because it is too lenient.

In the 1950's as advocates for justice reform were beginning to make themselves heard the arguments they used were that the current situation was too harsh. They also argued that the rules were stacked against the offender so a "fair" process was impossible. The counter arguments were that by loosening up the laws and the rules we would be inviting "chaos" and granting carte blanche to criminals.

Well we did loosen up the rules and while I won't say we have "chaos" or have granted "Carte Blanche" to criminals ...we have made it far too difficult for our system to do it's job. And far to easy for criminals to abuse the system.

There must be a restored balance and the way to achieve that is not by greater restrictions on the general population. The way to achieve that is by tightening the restrictions on criminals.

And as you should know the proposed changes have NO relation to first time offenders or those who may coincidently get involved in an offence. It is aimed specifically at REPEAT offenders.

The jokers who had a gunfight on Younge Street last Christmas were MULTIPLE offenders who could have been removed from the streets. They would not have been at large if the proposed laws were in effect and...yes that dead girl would not have gotten shot.

liberal supporter said...

pgp: Actually the retort was to "reverse chambering" on guns. "Lock everyone up" probably came from something my dad came up with years ago. Put something in the water to sterilize everyone and you get the antidote when you get married...

But you're right, this is a serious and deadly matter.

As I read it, reverse onus applies even if you are just on bail and have not been convicted of anything. I assume it will be an optional thing, crowns have a lot of latitude and this should be mainly to allow them to reverse the onus when they feel it necessary, like people with previous offenses, even if not out on bail for a current one.

I am somewhat concerned about the slippery slope where it goes from "holding as likely to offend" to "holding on suspicion", but I'm not overly concerned. Injustices that occur can be corrected and the process fine tuned.

Some of the things I read about Corrections Canada do not sit well with me. I am a strong believer in rehabilitation, otherwise if you eventually let someone out, they'll just re-offend, if they haven't made the change. Some of that can come from desire to avoid jail. I know deterrence works for me, but some hardened criminals seem unconcerned about any penalty, even in death penalty jurisdictions.

Problem is, it seems they measure their rehabilitation efforts by how many people they release, rather than some measure of how many they are wrong about.

Going a little off topic, my biggest argument for following the Kyoto protocol (with the schedule extended due to the ratification delays) is erring on the side of caution. The science is not perfect but is not out to lunch.

Whether you agree with that or not, I think we can be equally cautious about who we let out of jail. I think dangerous offender designation is basically a reverse onus, and I favour extending its use.

Riley Hennessey said...

If you're accused of a gun crime, and you've already been convicted once... well then heck yeah you should be kept without bail til the trial.

Violent crimes are just that.... violent.. and if you're truly not a threat, then let your lawyer argue that but I think if you've been convicted of a violent crime, we need to take a good look at the risk of letting you back out if you're in court for the second time round.

Morale of the story for me is, if you don't want to go to jail, don't commit a gun crime..... doesn't that seem simple?

Swift said...

i've been busy, but I see that some of you have come up with part of the answer to Joanne's question for me. I would make it that anyone with a conviction for a serious crime could not get bail. As for the hug-a-thug judges, cumulative sentences, and a minimum
sentence of two years for most crimes would work. For most crimes first time offenders would get two years(or more if the judge thinks the crime is serious enough), but the sentence would automatically reduced to participation in a rehabilitation program. There are some programs that have high success rates. A second time offender would serve the sentence doing a longer rehab program. Both types of programs can have an 80% or better success rate. Offenders with two or more previous convictions serve their current sentence and all previous sentences consecutively. The judge hears oinly evidence about the crime, and if the verdict is guilty, must sentence the offender to a minimum of two years. This sentence would mean a short rehab program for a first time offender, or at least ten years for a five time looser.
Hug-a-thugers are no problem.

TangoJuliette said...

try this for a change of pace.

Sunday Sun. Look real hard. You'll find an article about how we've been lied to about the deterrent effect of incarceration.

The Rutgers Prof. will be speaking to a HOC Committee meeting today. Sorry that I can't provide the references, as the Hard Copy of the paper is gone.

Somehow the yahoos keep forgetting that there just might be some Charter Right for the citizens to live free, and to not have to walk in fear for their own safety, in broad daylight, anywhere in Canada.

Anonymous said...

C'mon... the Libs have all sorts of great ideas. For instance, they want to fight for the rights of adolescent boys.

No, no... relax. It's not another government subsidised heroin parlour. It's just resolutions for the upcoming Liberal Leadership Convention.

Resolution No. 45: WHEREAS the current law discriminates against unmarried same-sex couples by not permitting unmarried persons under 18 to legally engage in consensual anal intercourse;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Federal Government of Canada to bring the age of consent for anal intercourse in equal pairing with other forms of sexual activity.