Lorrie has some suggestions for Michael Bryant rather than to simply wear buttons to combat gun crime:
I just wish they'd concentrate a lot more on stuff the Ontario government can do to fight gun crime, instead of always telling the feds what to do. (Either that, or run federally.)
Stuff like, say, assuring we have enough, modern provincial remand centres for people being held without bail pending trial for violent gun crimes, so judges don't keep giving them up to TRIPLE TIME for time served in custody prior to their conviction, to protest what the judges say are appalling, overcrowded conditions and lengthy trial delays.
This theme is revisited in today's editorial, It's the judges, stupid, not the laws. Lorrie suggests that we really don't need any new laws - We just need judges who are willing to give longer sentences:
The maximum sentences our Criminal Code provides for murder, manslaughter, rape, gun crimes, assault with a weapon and the sexual abuse of children are long enough.
The problem is judges rarely use them, and even then, the sentences they do hand down are eviscerated by parole.
Well, I can't totally agree here. I'd like to see the age of consent legislation become law. It has been passed by our democratic Parliament, but is currently being held up in the unelected, Liberal-dominated Senate. But I'll rant about that another day.
Goldstein argues that since judges are appointed by politicians, and since the Liberals who believe more in rehabilitation rather than societal protection have held the balance of power for the last several decades, therefore it is hardly surprising that we find ourselves the victims of a legal system today that is soft on crime. (That is my interpretation of what he is saying, but please read it for yourself).
Given that politicians ultimately decide who is appointed a judge, it's hardly surprising many judges, particularly those drawn from the ranks of defence lawyers -- who support soft sentencing and easy parole for obvious reasons -- have the same lenient views as our political class. Stating the problem is easy. Fixing it, hard.
Whenever Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes the obvious point that the system is soft on crime, hysteria erupts from senior judges, opposition politicians, liberal media, academics and prisoners' rights groups.
Wild allegations are made that the "independence" of the judiciary is under attack.
Of course, this is absurd. It's not judges who are under siege but the law-abiding majority, especially those living in crime-ridden communities.
Lorrie then explores John Tory's seemingly reasonable proposal to "gather information on such issues as how long it takes to bring cases to trial, the results of plea bargaining and the number of bail violations. Why? Because in order to fix something, you need to know how and where it's breaking down."
But Michael Bryant bristled at the idea:
...Bryant warned Tory's proposals would put unfair pressure on judges and crown attorneys, eroding their, you guessed it, independence.
Shouldn't citizens have access to this kind of information?
Of course, in the ideal Nanny State, we lemmings aren't supposed to ask questions. We meekly accept the decisions of far superior minds, and placidly vote them in again when told to do so.
If we are allowed to vote for them. In the case of judges, those brilliant politicians will take care of that too.