The Shotgun Blog
Monday, November 26, 2007
Judicial Arrogance: Gomery Whines about Mandatory Minimums
The man who Paul Martin hand-picked to bring down his own government, Justice John Gomery, has chosen to become the voice of the Judiciary in Canada against PM Stephen Harper's new crime bill. Officially retired since August, Gomery obviously feels free to speak his mind - and, in his opinion, the mind of most of Canada's judges - regarding the increased use of mandatory minimum sentences in Conservative legislation. From Richard Foot, CanWest News Service, "Judges resent 'implied criticism' of minimum sentences: Gomery" :
"This legislation basically shows a mistrust of the judiciary to impose proper sentences when people come before them," says Gomery.
Yes, sir, that would be correct. Judges have been shown time-and-time-again to go out of their way to avoid penalizing criminals - particularly the louses involved in the despicable Restorative Justice movement.
"Judges view this kind of legislation as a slap in the face."
And a well-deserved one, at that.
Gomery, who retired from the Quebec Superior Court after wrapping up the sponsorship inquiry in 2006, says judges are unhappy about this and other legislation that suggest a failure on their part to impose proper sentences. "Judges find that it's an implied criticism when Parliament imposes mandatory sentences," Gomery says. "It leaves the impression that judges aren't using their discretion wisely or in accordance with the wishes of the legislature. And judges are resentful about that."
How, exactly, does a man with such a weak grasp of elementary logic become a respected Judge? Sir: laws are made by the legislature. Judges must implement those laws. If judges won't implement those laws by applying reasonable penalties, then they are deliberately undermining the legislature, so the legislature MUST mandate specific sentences. But wait...a speck of logic creeps in...
Gomery admits that mandatory sentences will relieve judges from what he calls the "agonizing" task of choosing an appropriate sentence. "Most judges who sit on criminal matters would say sentencing is the hardest part of their job," he says. "But if Parliament has said, 'You've got to give this guy five years,' then you shrug your shoulders and obey the law and sentence them, even if you feel it's unnecessarily harsh.
Now we've gotten somewhere. Way to go, Gomery, you're absolutely right! IT'S NOT FOR YOU TO DECIDE WHETHER A LEGISLATED PENALTY IS TOO HARSH! Congratulations, John. Uh oh...he concludes:
"Still, my own personal view is that it's a mistake to take away discretion from judges," says Gomery.
In other words: Judges know it's wrong, but they still want to retain the right to override legislation at their every whim.
Posted by Neil Flagg on November 26, 2007 | Permalink
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All the major religions have an extremist element. These fundamentalist elements grow when extremists from one group try to manage/mitigate/wipe-out the other. The tactics they use depend on the resources available to them. So no, the Christian right does not commit random acts of terrorism, but it does utilise the economic and political resources of the U.S. in its attempts to destroy fundamentalist Islam. As such, American foreign policy has increased the threat of Islamist based terrorism world-wide.
Religions are political structures. They rely on hierarchy, power and coersion to be legitimate. The spiritual element rests solely with/in the individual, whether a person uses religious precepts or not. Being political structures, the key challenge of all major religions today is to mitigate the extremist elements within their own group. The moderates in each religion, of course, should also be engaged in discussion with each other. Christians have to reign in the urge to go out and destroy another religion, and Muslims have to do the same.
Of course, if you are inclined to hate Islam you will think this rubbish.
Posted by: holographic | 2007-11-28 2:21:11 PM
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