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Monday, February 09, 2009

Are B.C. judges too soft?

Are B.C. judges too soft? When violent criminals receive house arrest, and when chronic thieves with scores of convictions find themselves on the streets again and again to commit the same crimes over and over again, it's no surprise that many British Columbians certainly believe so. But this new study, commissioned by the B.C. government, suggests judges in Canada's westernmost provinces are not out of step with those in the rest of the country.

A pertinent declaration from the report's executive summary: "We are left, then, on the one hand with the belief held by many that sentences in British Columbia are more lenient than sentences in Canada as a whole. On the other hand, we have presented detailed date in our full report which...suggest otherwise."

Well, then, maybe it's true that courts throughout the country are too soft on criminals. We await a detailed report into this...

Posted by Terry O'Neill on February 9, 2009 in Crime | Permalink


Canada's legal system is weak to begin with. Here are some ideas: 1.) Bring back the death penalty for murder, terrorism, and rape, 2.) Implement a 3 strike law where third conviction for any crime means life sentence with no possibility of parole, 3.) Pass a concealed carry law, 4.) Pass a self defense law that allows for right to kill criminal without fear of prosecution or duty to retreat.

Posted by: David | 2009-02-09 10:54:45 AM

That ninety-plus-page study can be boiled down to the four patronizing words that public officials most often use to pander to the murmuring masses: "It's a complex problem." Or, if you like, "It's not that simple."

Unfortunately, it is. Because people who are in jail are not elsewhere at the same time committing crimes. It's also long been known that most crimes are committed by a small number of chronic offenders; it is not at all uncommon for a judge to face an accused with dozens of convictions. Yet statistics show that the average sentence for a given offence DROPS slightly the more offences that person has committed. A reason for that, ye lawyers!

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-09 11:23:20 AM

How is being "just like everyone else" where the bar should rest?

There are signs that the AB judiciary is finally starting to "get it" - that people are fed up with the revolving door/2 for 1 deals/minimal sentences etc.

Posted by: Calgary Clippper | 2009-02-09 12:21:40 PM

If the courts are unwilling to hand out proper justice (read: proper sentences), then the legislature should. Mandatory minimums and maybe even 3 strikes laws to start.

Posted by: Donovan | 2009-02-10 2:53:14 PM

"judges in Canada's westernmost provinces are not out of step with those in the rest of the country".

The rest of the country is certainly out of step with what the people want. Get this human garbage off the street and keep it off.

Posted by: peterj | 2009-02-10 9:36:56 PM

Is there not a way that since the judges can't control this criminal aspect with any results because of the very weak laws in place. Why can't the Revenue Canada send in investigators when there is a real probability of income tax evasion. Thou this was used by the Americans on Al Capone, I would think this plan could be revised. I would also suggest that when all assets of crimes are seized and case is completed, the assets should be sold and all cash that was seized should be used to refinance the police forces and other task forces with all the members needed and all the high power equipment that they can fight these criminals on an even playing field. This is the only way we will ever get this type of crime under control. It would still be a fight, but I think it would eventually be winnable.Also making it illegal to be in possession of combat gear such as body armour, armour cars,high powered weapons. Anyone caught with these will be automatically jailed for this and deported if able to deport legally. Also with all this extra cash from illegal assets seized, a more active education program set up to try to eliminate the young future drug users and to work hard to clean up the addicted at this time. All of the money from this should be only used for this major task alone and not funneled away for other projects. I think using this so called dirty money for this reason would make it the right thing to do for everyone's good.

Posted by: Norm Gross | 2009-03-29 9:31:35 PM

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