Saturday, November 03, 2007

Puzzled

Why is it that we're so horrified at the thought of a Canadian double-murderer being executed in the U.S. after all due process has been exhausted, and yet the killing of an innocent unborn child is shrugged off?

Good discussion going on at Raphael's.

And let the links at the Sun and National Post forever dispel the rumour that those two publications are right-wing.


* * * *

Monday Update
- Great letters addressing Saturday's Post editorial:

...There is no rule that says democratic governments must make diplomatic protests every time other democratic governments pursue substantive justice differently, even when the consequences are serious. If one day abortion becomes illegal in Montana, Canadians would rightly be angry were the governor of Montana to ask our prime minister to stop an abortion that a Montana woman was having in Ontario...
- Michael Tweyman, Toronto

Good point.


...In declining, for once, to pervert due process in a fellow democracy on behalf of a multiple killer who has enjoyed over 20 additional years of comfortable life beyond those of his victims, our government has shown a small glimmer of comprehension -- this is what Joe Citizen calls common sense.

This editorial properly belongs in the Toronto Star, where it would sit comfortably alongside all the other human rights caterwauling...
- David Salter, Stoney Creek, Ont.

(That last sentence is exactly what I was thinking.)



And on the subject of our own lax justice system:
...In the case of a first degree murder conviction, a life sentence should mean a life sentence, and the only chance for release is if new evidence points to a wrongful conviction.
- Douglas L. Martin, Hamilton, Ont.


I totally agree.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez:

"They didn't get the job done!!"

joanne: We[?] -- or more accurately -- "they," who somehow get sucked into the LibDip Vortex of Verbiage express their "horror" today. AThey were sure silent when the Libs held the reins of power. It's all part of a Lib/Dip shell game, where anyone's life, civilian, military, paramilitary or other, is of secondary and inconsequential importance to the primary objective for them to be seen "sticking it" to Harper&the neo-cons. For whatever reason. Real, contrived imagined or manufactured. The old "Gotcha!"

Part of their "10,000 cuts" as they try to regain their stranglhold on the nation and Canada's purse-strings.

Re: 1982 conviction in USA, of killing two US First Nations Youths, has Canadian facing Death By Lethal injection.

Trudeau [Lib.] 1980 – 1984. Turner [Lib.] 1984. Mulroney [Cons.] 1984 -1993. Campbell [Cons.] 1993. Chretien [Lib.] 1993 – 2003. Martin [Lib.] 2003 – 2006. Harper [Cons.] 2006 – 2007.

1982 – 2007. More or less 25 years under the death penalty. 16 of these years, more or less, were during a Liberal reign. 11 years, or less, were during a Conservative reign.
The Liberals have an astounding penchant for achieving little, as in this case, then laying blame on the Conservatives for almost matching this behaviour. THEN passing off the Conservative conduct as some part of a vast neo-con, right- wing and George W-lite, uber-republican ‘scary hidden agenda,’ is more than a bit rich. This all very much looks like their replay of their failure on the Kyoto File. Any one sided castigation, by the media and the pundits, of JUST the Conservatives in the case of the Canadian on Death row in the USA, merely adds to the ‘enabling’ of the Liberals in their playing politics with the lives of Canadians.

As for an inquiry on Mulroney? Yes. Bien sur. Go for it. As well -- go after Adscam, Chretien-Shawinigate, Martin-Canada Steamship Lines etc. There should be no statute of limitations based on when an individual leaves office -- whether volutarily, or by termination by ballot.

I DO NOT recall, while the Liberals were in power, EVER, hearing anyone raise their voices in an attempt to defend confessed "stone cold thrill double killer" Smith from the death sentence.

Nor do I ever recall ever once hearing anyone raise up a lament for Thomas Running Rabbit, 20, and Harvey Mad Man, 24 -- both summarily put to death, execution style, because, as Smith put it "I wanted to find out what it would be like to kill somebody."

The smugly vaunted false double standards of which lives are valued and which ones are less so - and for the 23 years prior to Harper coming to power, neither 9 years of Conservative rule, nor 14 years of Liberal governments managed to obtain any measure of clemency for Smith.

That's already 23 years( 2.3 deacades) of "de facto" reversing of Canadian democratic procedures.

tj


t.e.&o.e.

Anonymous said...

TJ...you said it all "Libs play politics with the lives of Canadians."
Prime Minister Harper had a terrific press conference in Halifax. On many issues he basically said to the Glibs: "go ahead, make my day"

Brian in Calgary said...

It's incredible. Many people say they don't like it when the US apparently tries to impose its laws on other nations (ie the trade embargo on Cuba). Most of these same people turn around and say we should try to impose our abolition of capital punishment on other democracies (the key word here being "democracies"). There is an unparliamentary term that describes such people - hypocrites.

cherenkov said...

Why are we so horrified? Because it's only the tip of the ice berg, of course! Apparently you've forgotten about Harper's "hidden agenda". Before you know it, we'll be cutting the fingers off of car thieves and guillotining rapists. And double murderers? Well, Harper has something special in store for them! Heh. Just you wait 'till he has a majority!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Just you wait 'till he has a majority!

That's right. He'll be skinning cats alive! Oh wait. He loves cats.

O.K. Well, dogs then.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

O/T, what the heck is going on in Pakistan?

liberal supporter said...

Supposedly Smith confessed to the murders so he would get the death penalty and not spend his natural life in prison. Of course that contrasts with his appeals since then.

Once again, you guys seem quite happy to toss traditions and precedents out the window, for partisan reasons.

Since abolition, Canada has requested commuting of death sentences on Canadians in other countries. The Governor of Montana can commute any death sentence. Likely he will not in this case, but until now, we have always requested it.

What is so wrong with that? Harper thinks it will somehow send the "wrong message". Indeed it does send the wrong message, if your plan is to re-institute State executions.

Yes, looks like you guys are the radicals and we are the traditional conservatives. We follow protocol. You call it "political correctness". I call it "common courtesy" and "politeness".

We didn't want to defeat a Throne Speech because it has never been done, and amounts to insulting HM Queen Elizabeth and her vice-regal representative here.

We would request commuting of a death sentence, especially since the laws of the foreign country involved allow making such a request.

paulsstuff said...

I would be happy to see an inquiry into Mulroney. Of course I would also like to see an inquiry into this:

"ONE DAY before George Radwanski was given his $210,000-a-year patronage appointment as Canada's privacy commissioner, Revenue Canada forgave $540,000 he owed the federal government after years of not paying taxes, according to documents obtained by the Sun. A longtime communications consultant to Jean Chretien and other clients, Radwanski filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999 with only one registered creditor -- the federal tax department.

Documents indicate that on July 26, 2000, Revenue Canada wiped out Radwanski's tax bills totalling $606,947 for only $67,726 in payments from him.

The next day, Chretien appointed Radwanski privacy commissioner for a seven-year term."

Joanne (True Blue) said...

SDA on Pakistan here.

Anonymous said...

Americans have the moral courage to exact, and pay, the ultimate price for their society. Canadians do not.

valiantmauz said...

Doesn't strike me as needing a great deal of "moral courage" to execute an imprisoned and defenseless human being. By that standard it took moral courage for the military in Myanmar to gun down unarmed monks and for Iran to hang boys for the crime of being homosexual.

The state cannot be trusted to so much as fill potholes, but some are willing to hand over to them the power of life and death. All you need to know about the death penalty is the coterie of states that still use it. The U.S. is in very bad company.

Red Tory said...

Gee, never saw THAT argument coming. *snort*

Joanne (True Blue) said...

an imprisoned and defenseless human being.

Are you referring to the person who was charged with murdering two other human beings, just to see what it would feel like?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, Red. Where have you been?

valiantmauz said...

Irrelevant, Joanne. The fact that the guy is scum does not in any way contradict the fact that he is imprisoned and defenseless. The fact that he is scum does not make his murder by the state an act of moral courage. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Möbius said...

Americans have the moral courage to exact, and pay, the ultimate price for their society. Canadians do not.

Capital punishment is always wrong. It's immoral, frequently applied to the innocent, and not worthy of a democratic state.

So it costs money to keep people in prison. So what?

Are we better than animals, or not?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The fact that the guy is scum does not in any way contradict the fact that he is imprisoned and defenseless.

I'm sorry. I'm just having trouble finding a huge amount of sympathy for a cold-blooded murderer. However, I don't defend the use of the label "moral courage".

My personal feeling about capital punishment is that it is actually too humane. Better to serve a life sentence in prison - an actual life sentence.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Valiantmauz, I have a question for you. Suppose someone convicted of murder in the States was given a life sentence, which I believe are actually life sentences in some States, and what if the said murderer wanted to be executed; as in euthanasia, or something along that line? Would you be o.k. with that?

Möbius said...

My personal feeling about capital punishment is that it is actually too humane. Better to serve a life sentence in prison - an actual life sentence.

When you think about the errors that have been made in the past, I can't see how anyone can't promote capital punishment.

I'm a great believer in law and order and stiff sentences, but also realize the police and prosecutors get paid to complete cases, not necessarily solve them. Note the recent cases alleging significant errors by an Ontario coroner.

Möbius said...

...and by "can't", I actually mean "can".....

valiantmauz said...

No, I wouldn't be OK with that Joanne. The state should not have the power to put people to death, whether or not the prisoner "requests" execution. Allowing prisoners to "request" the death penalty (the process overseen and administered by the state) is as open to abuse as the current method of handing out the death penalty.

Death is far too final and unforgiving of mistakes. It also irrevocably halts any possibility of remorse or redemption.

Brian in Calgary said...

Death is far too final and unforgiving of mistakes. It also irrevocably halts any possibility of remorse or redemption.

Valientmauz - there are very few arguments against capital punishment that I think have much merit. These two are the best I've ever come across, particularly the second one.

Möbius said...

It also irrevocably halts any possibility of remorse or redemption.

This is why we are, hopefully, better than animals. We can feel remorse for our actions.

Möbius said...

Once again, you guys seem quite happy to toss traditions and precedents out the window, for partisan reasons.

I disagree completely with you. The interest in capital punishment seems to cross party lines. The US had several years of Clinton government to change their policies, and did not.

I've looked at this in what I think is a sensible manner, i.e., does the government/prosecution make mistakes? Would innocent people die due to this? The answer is yes, so I believe it is immoral for the state to kill. The US states are slowly losing the will to kill people, and it will disappear there eventually.

The CPC is making a law and order point, in not defending this particular case, but they will not try to reintroduce CP. They would certainly lose my vote if they did so.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Valiantmauz, how do you feel about euthanasia itself?

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez to Lib Supporter:

For 23 years before to PMSH was voted into office, this file was supposedly "highly active." Nine of those 23 years, Mulroney and Campbell ran the show. They either could not, would not, or did not attain commutation of the death penalty for this convict.

The remaining 14 years of that period were governed by Trudeau, Chretien and Martin. And they, brilliant 'progressive' Liberals all, could not, would not, and did not attain commutation of this death penalty neither. Just like the Mulroney/Campbell bunch.

But NOW? It's all Harper's fault? You folks are jokes!

Talk about ghouls playing politics, trying to score gotcha points on some cold-blooded double-homicide death row inmate's sorry soul.

In this case, Liberal Supporter's so-called 23 year long "history and record of traditions,precedents,
'politenenss' and common courtesey" mean nothing, and have delivered nothing. This is precisely why this convicted murder remains on death row, today.

Now, it's all starting to loook like this whole debate merely serves the purposes of the Liberal party in their attempts to "embarass" the Harper government.

BTW. Who had the audacious temerity to raise this question in the HoC?

None other than the fellow who was the Minister of Justice in Martin's regime, wasn't it? Now, wasn't he just perfectly spay-shul in getting this whole commutation thing done, huh?

Specious partisan cant from all you alleged "progressive" keck-generating barf-artists truly inspire me to want to toss my brekkie.

You care for this death row guy's life? Why the hell didn't you get this thing done in the preceding 23 years, if that was truly the case?

Too much time spent on your internecine intrigues and back-room turf-wars, I'll bet? Is that your little secret? Is that your tawdry little liberal 'hidden agenda'?

Admit it -- You folks don't care one solitary damned whit about improving the lives of Canadians. You just want to have'your dude' running the nation. That's all you really care about: Getting your hands back on the checquebook, for the benefit of you and your cronies.

ASn't gonna happen again kiddies. Not for one extremely long time. Enjoy your time in what you all so ignorantly have chosen to mis-characterize
as you "brief time-out" in the "penalty-box" because of some "aberration in the mind of the voting public." Uh-huh! Yeah! That's exactly what happened.


tj

t.e.&o.e.

liberal supporter said...

Talk about ghouls playing politics, trying to score gotcha points on some cold-blooded double-homicide death row inmate's sorry soul.


Yes, Stockwell Day is despicable to do that. Just trying to get petty political points to eventually re-institute the death penalty here.

In this case, Liberal Supporter's so-called 23 year long "history and record of traditions,precedents,
'politenenss' and common courtesey" mean nothing, and have delivered nothing. This is precisely why this convicted murder remains on death row, today.


Baloney.

You don't formally ask for commutation until all other appeals are exhausted. Smith still has an appeal in progress, but our New Government is not going to ask this time. There was discussion, but now there will not be.

Specious partisan cant from all you alleged "progressive" keck-generating barf-artists truly inspire me to want to toss my brekkie.

Yes, specious partisan cant is what you are providing. Toss your brekkie all you want.

You care for this death row guy's life? Why the hell didn't you get this thing done in the preceding 23 years, if that was truly the case?

You can't "get this thing done" until all other appeals are exhausted.

No, I don't care for this guy's life specifically. I care about my life being ended by the State due to some wrongful conviction. One that can happen quite easily if someone wants it too. I see no reason to release someone like this without a lot of evidence they were wrongfully convicted.

The death penalty says you trust the nanny State to get it right every time. I do not trust the nanny State to get anything right. I expect them to make mistakes and correct them.

Admit it -- You folks don't care one solitary damned whit about improving the lives of Canadians.

No, I do not agree with your opinion.

You just want to have'your dude' running the nation.

Just as you do.

That's all you really care about: Getting your hands back on the checquebook, for the benefit of you and your cronies.

You must be projecting your own motives onto others.

Your "dude" is a radical.

Gayle said...

"Most of these same people turn around and say we should try to impose our abolition of capital punishment on other democracies (the key word here being "democracies")."

Except that is not what is happening here. There is a difference between requesting clemency on behalf of a Canadian citizen and demanding the US abolish capital punishment. I have not heard that Canada has ever asked the US to abolish (though we are now signatories to an international agreement opposing the death penalty).

This has absolutely nothing to do with interference with the American justice system. Most countries use diplomatic means in order to address concerns relating to their citizens in other countries. It is our government's obligation to speak up for its citizens. It is the Montana governor's right to ignore those requests.

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez:

LS Pens: "...You must be projecting your own motives onto others..." Yeah, right. Like the Conservatives have pocketed many brown envelopes of Adscam cash.

"...Your "dude" is a radical...."

Yup. I agree with you. You're brilliant to have finally seen the light. He is rather radical at that, ain't he? I mean, in that sort of way, as opposed to being a ditherer, and a more or less adscam, shawinigate, CSL sort of kinda near-honest kind of a strangler of the homeless, you mean? Huh?

Unacustomed as you libs might well be with a PM who sez what he's gonna do and does it. Without fleecing the nation. For their pals' sakes. Does the Radwanski name and scam mean anything to you? I mean, besides this larceny being an iconic figure on the Liberals' "entitlement" pantheon of "progressive" permissiveness.

You just wish that you'd be able to muster up the intestinal fortitude to hook up with someone THIS "radical."

No guts, no glory, though, hey "entitlement" laddie?

Keep backing them brain dead seals sittin' on their fat entitlement arses, just praying to keep their festering snouts in the trough, lest, heavens forfend, if they took a stand on their highly self-proclaimed pseudo-progressive principles, they just might bring the government down, and find themselves having to find a real job, like rest of us taxpaying Canadians.

gotta go, hope to catch you on the next bit of your interesting thinking, perhaps tomorrow.

tj

t.e.&.o.e

Möbius said...

The death penalty says you trust the nanny State to get it right every time. I do not trust the nanny State to get anything right. I expect them to make mistakes and correct them.

Ohmigod, I agree with you!

Hell may now freeze over!

This is not a partisan issue. The Libs didn't give a rat's fuzzy ass about these guys, but pretended they did, and the CPC is trying to score points with the law and order bunch.