Friday, September 30, 2011

Ian Mulgrew vs Harper Crime Bill

contribution to Western Christians. We needed it and deserved it. Thank you.


Failed Plans

When I first returned to Canada ten years ago, I had hopes to start a movement to civilize the legal profession and to conscientize especially Christian lawyers and judges about the demands of the Gospel upon them. Due to a number of reasons, I was not able to get that off the ground, though I did make an attempt, ill-formed as it was. Then I was hoping to start a whole series of posts on the BC legal system. I have not been able to do the research to get a series started either, though I have on my shelf hundreds, if not thousands, of newspaper clippings on all things relating to the law, to the courts, to judges and to lawyers. So, with both of these projects having failed, I will for now be satisfied with writing occasional posts about these subjects.

Introducing My Main Characters

For those not living in Vancouver or Canada, Ian Mulgrew is a Vancouver Sun columnist; Stephen Harper is Canada’s Prime Minister. Mulgrew recently wrote a column discussing BC Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman’s criticism of Harper’s crime bill as “a strain on [the] system” (“Judge Deems Harper’s Crime Bill a ‘Strain’ on System,” Sept. 28, 2011, p. A6).

A Raging Controversy

Bauman’s critique and Mulgrew’s column aimed at the Harper are by no means the first. A veritable tradition has arisen complaining about crowded prisons and, more recently, about the Harper bill that will increase the number of prisoners so much that more prisons will need to be built—and that at a time of economic scarcity and reduction of crime. Mulgrew refers to a raging controversy.

The Critique

Bauman warns that it will strain every aspect of the justice system, the courts, the judges, the prisons. Correctional officers complain about prisons already overcrowded. In BC, the system is plagued by shortage of personnel and of “dockets so clotted you can’t get a trial date in less than a year.” Cases are thrown out of court simply because it has taken took long for them to get to trial. Many serious cases take too much time for prosecution—three to five years, and sometimes even longer. Mulgrew notes the “absurd anomaly” that under the proposed new law, “pot growers are …penalized more harshly than child molesters.” This crime bill, according Mulgrew and many others, will make all problems worse, not better. And with each prisoner now costing up to $120,000 per annum, the predicted outcome of the new legislation will be a huge increase in the citizens’ tax bill.

Alternative Tethering System

Please recall a suggestion I made back in April of this year in Post 33. I suggested that, instead of putting all criminals in prison, most of them should be placed in qualified homes and severely tethered. For details please go back to that post, for I am not about to repeat what I wrote there. Of course, such an arrangement would not be appropriate for violent and other dangerous offenders, but, it would seem to me it would keep most criminals out of prison while still having their movement severely curtailed. The savings could be phenomenal and no additional prisons would need to be built.

Not only would the proposed system save tons, but it may also prevent new offenders from being further contaminated by fellow prisoners.

Not Based on Leftist Ideology

This is a very sketchy and incomplete proposal from a legal and correctional layman that would need serious fleshing out. But I do assure you, my reader, that this proposal is not another hair-brained idea from some leftist ideologist. I am hardly leftist. In fact, I am a card-carrying member of the federal Conservative Party. I agree with the Prime Minister’s emphasis on doing away with the slapped wrist so many judges are seen to be dishing out. People, including yours truly, have become impatient, not to say furious, with leftist judges who seem to regard criminals as misguided angels and who leave the victims of crime to their own lot.

Elected Judges

Perhaps an additional change needed is to turn judges into elected officials. That would make them respond to the people instead of ignoring them as legal imbeciles.

1 comment:

  1. My church just came out in favor of amnesty so I left it and convinced some others to leave too. I'm sick and tired of their anti-Western hatred. We're now going to form a Pro-Western Christian church. These articles will help!