Saturday, May 19, 2012

Should rapists and heroin smugglers get reduced sentences if they're aboriginal?

One sentence if you're white; another (reduced) if you're aboriginal. And this from judges screaming "equality!".
For a crime that might normally bring 12 to 17 years in prison, the Crown sought eight; Judge Hill gave Knockwood six years, citing “serious state misconduct” through the Gladue delay.
Let me see if I've got this straight. In one case a man robs and rapes a woman; in another, someone smuggles heroin. And the judges are outraged not by the crimes but because some slip of paper or report was not available to them at the time of sentencing? What kind of distorted leftist world do these judges inhabit where they are more outraged by non-compliance with paperwork than with the crimes themselves? And what exactly is wrong with sentencing based on the crime rather than the race or background of the perp? A lot, apparently.

“When sentencing an aboriginal offender, courts must take judicial notice of such matters as the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools and how that history continues to translate into lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and of course higher levels of incarceration for aboriginal peoples. [the "it's all our fault" principle] 
“To the extent that the application of the Gladue principles lead to different sanctions for aboriginal offenders, those sanctions will be justified based on their unique circumstances — circumstances which are rationally related to the sentencing process.”
By "different sanctions" I presume they don't mean harsher. Here's a question: what kind of educational attainment did aboriginals achieve before colonialism? What were their income rates? What were their employment rates then? You can't insist aboriginals remain in their isolated cultures on reserves and also expect they attain the same outcomes as integrated Canadians. It ain't gonna happen.  And if you suggest integration would be good for aboriginals you get slapped down as being racist. Meanwhile, according to the courts, aboriginal crime rates are our fault and we should expect less from aboriginals. What's that going to do for aboriginal self-esteem?

We should be just as outraged by more lenient sentences for aboriginals as we would be if judges were giving harsher sentences. There should be one law, and one standard of enforcement, for all Canadians.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

24 comments:

Dollops said...

There should be a name for such carrying on as though a distinct group of people were unable to measure up to the standards that apply to thee and me - wait, there is! It's called bigotry. My Indian friends are just as scornful as I and others-in-the-know are toward the do-gooders but they say "hey man, if those bozos are going to hand it out, why not take it?"

RkBall said...

Dollops, thank you for your comment. I'm expecting push-back.

I hope the judges realize there's a direct line between the colonialism they sniff at and their $300,000/yr salaries. If they aren't donating a significant amount of this colonial blood-money to native causes they are nothing but hypocrites and poseurs.

Frances said...

Want to bet these judges (and others involved producing the guidelines) live nowhere near the reserves or even urban areas where native crime is a problem. Also willing to bet they don't talk much to the victims of said crimes, native or non-native.

RkBall said...

Good point, Frances. When I read the part about the woman being raped in unmentionable ways, I lost it. If this is justice Canadian-style, count me out.

Alain said...

From my understanding the judges are forced to rule this way due to government direction. I am not trying to defend all judges by any means but if my understanding is correct it removes the responsibility from the judges.

RkBall said...

Alain -- not "government" as in elected officials, but other judges, as in the Supreme Court. But, if you read the article, it is clear that the judges are personally incensed that they don't have the required piece of paper in their hands. Better to direct their rage at the act of rape or the act or heroin smuggling.

Anonymous said...

This is what Canada is all about: equality, freedom, respect of other cultures, human rights and human dignity.

We accept refugees and immigrants from non-English speaking Islamic countries with open arms who hate us and give them everything.

We’ll never execute a criminal offender even if they kill, rape and torture children.

We’ll never execute a criminal offender who murders their family in the name of Islamic honour.

We allow women the right to kill their unborn child and we even pay for it!

People this is just the tip of the Liberal iceberg! We are ALL Liberal in Canada even if you vote Conservative! This nation was founded on left winged principles and still is a left winged socialist nation!

So get used to it and stop crying! You wont change a thing! Go watch Sun News or something!

Alain said...

I stand corrected. Somehow I was led to understand that a Liberal Justice Minister had given this direction to the courts. Thanks for clarifying it.

john said...

Time to push for:

1) Term limits for judges.

2) Regarding the recently intiated public questioning by MPs for SCOC applicants; DRAMATICALLY increase the level of scrutiny of those interviews. No more softbally love fests with touchy feely questions.

3) A public complaint inquiry process that is presided over by people WHO ARE NOT *ALL* JUDGES!!

Anonymous said...

Hey John your heart is in the right place but how do you exactly “push” for what you suggest? Should I contact my Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai who is a Tunisian refugee? Tunisia just happens to be a sate supporter and sponsor of terrorism and Islamic jihad and under the covert control of the Muslim brotherhood!

Anonymous said...

Not that I think you are going to be swayed by facts, but I think you are missing the point. Colonization is not about giving people an economic and education system. Indeed they were perfectly happy living the way they were living before Europeans came around and colonized North America. Who are we to say that a culture should be replaced?

The point is that the arrival of Europeans displaced Canada's indigenous population. If immigrants came to Canada now and rounded us all up and forced us to live on reserves, with limited resources while they exploited the land for their benefit perhaps we could understand the impact.

Furthermore, and frankly more serious in my opinion, the residential school system killed Aboriginal culture in ways we are now just beginning to understand. The government removed children from their families, leaving the parents without their children and children without their parents. How do you think we learn to live in our society if not from our parents? How do we learn parenting, the importance of loving bonded relationships if we do not have them? Instead we sentenced these children to be raised in institutions, without loving parents and in situations where many, if not most, we abused in the most heinous ways.

Simply ending the residential school system does not repair this damage for we still have generation after generation of families who are broken - who have never been parented or raised in loving, bonded families and who are therefore unable to pass that knowledge to their own children. When your parent is abusing substances in order to kill the pain of abuse, chances are you are going to do the same.

Now these are factors you are ignoring in your diatribe, and no doubt if you post this you will fail to acknowledge these truths, but I cannot sit idly by and let your comments go unchallenged.

Try educating yourself on WHY the courts insist on consideration of Aboriginal heritage as a factor in sentencing.

john said...

Write a letter to the editor (several actuallY).

Write the PM. To hell with your MP. You're right he sounds pretty useless.

Write a conservative senator.

There are many options. Start tinking & doing.

RkBall said...

"Now these are factors you are ignoring in your diatribe, and no doubt if you post this you will fail to acknowledge these truths, but I cannot sit idly by and let your comments go unchallenged."

Well, thank you for posting. I was well aware of all the background before you did. What you are offering is a get-out-of-personal-moral-responsibility free card, to endless generations of aboriginals. And, to follow your logic, anyone who has been abused should be given lighter sentences -- why just aboriginals?

RkBall said...

Russell Williams had a really bad childhood. Should we take that into account when sentencing him? Or are white men accountable for their actions in a way that aboriginals are not?

RkBall said...

Anon. I've re-read your post. Apart from referring to my post as a diatribe, it was well-written and well-argued. Thank you for posting.

Anonymous said...

"And your evidence for this perfect happiness is?"

That they never tried to change their culture, and that the change was imposed on them by colonists. Change is motivated by desire to change, which is motivated by the need for something different.

"And what is your suggestion for breaking this endless cycle of promiscuity, abuse, incest, rape and alcoholism -- more money, more technology, more excusing behavior, what?"

Well this post was about why sentencing of Aboriginals has to consider their cultural background, and you are now inserting something else into the discussion. The question is complex but I would suggest the first step is actually recognizing what the issue is in the first place. The last residential school closed less than 20 years ago.

I suspect the biggest obstacle is the rampant racism in our society against Aboriginal people.

"What you are offering is a get-out-of-personal-moral-responsibility free card, to endless generations of aboriginals."

Actually no. I suspect that what most Aboriginal communities would like is a way out of this mess rather than a lower sentence after the fact. However our current political culture prefers to focus on punishment rather than prevention.

When it comes to sentencing it is impossible to ignore what lead to the conduct in the first place. That is true of anyone who has been subject to abuse, however, and this is why I suggest you read the decisions before spouting off, Aboriginals as a population, have been subjected to the destruction of their culture. This is not just about being abused. This is a multi-generational systemic destruction of everything they know and understand. Most of us are crime free because that is what we are taught - to respect others in order to fit into our society. If you do not have that, if you are never taught that and if the adults in your life never model that, you will never learn it and you will never experience it.

"Well, reports of native cannibalism might be a place to start."

Yes, much better that we have a culture of sexual abuse instead. Those Aboriginals are so lucky Europeans showed up and told them to stop practicing canabism and to give up their children for the sexual deviance of their invaders instead.

john said...

"Try educating yourself on WHY the courts insist on consideration of Aboriginal heritage as a factor in sentencing."

Oh of course. Judges are ever so pure of heart. They are selfless, paragons of unlimited virtue. They are perfectly wise, ominscient super beings who are incapable of hubris or the biases that are flaws of the little, uneducated people.

Uhhh .... yeah, I'll try to be more respectful of "betters".

RkBall said...

"for we still have generation after generation of families who are broken - who have never been parented or raised in loving, bonded families and who are therefore unable to pass that knowledge to their own children."

And what is your suggestion for breaking this unending cycle of promiscuity, abuse, incest, rape and alcoholism -- more money, more technology, more excusing behavior, what?

RkBall said...

"Who are we to say that a culture should be replaced?"

Well, reports of cannibalism might be a place to start.

RkBall said...

Hi Anon,

I went in to clean up some of my comments but I see you responded to the originals. Sorry about that.

RkBall said...

"I suspect the biggest obstacle is the rampant racism in our society against Aboriginal people."

Rampant racism? Sorry, what I see is the exact opposite -- endless coddling and excuse-making and endless billion dollars subsidies. The good will that Canadians exhibit towards aboriginals is endless and boundless. At some point aboriginals themselves are going to have to step up to the plate.

RkBall said...

And my quarrel is not with aboriginals -- it is the coddling leftist court system that insists on carving up Canadians into different classes with different statuses, rights, privileges, etc. My heart is for the aboriginals and my prayer is that they find the redemption in Jesus Christ which I have found.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, what I see is the exact opposite..."

I do not see how there cannot be racism in our society even with subsidies. I am talking about the personal, one to one relationships between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals.

The court system did not carve citizens up into different statuses. We did that ourselves. The courts are trying to address what went wrong.

john - my point is that if you are going to criticize the judge you should at a minimum read the decision so you understand what you are criticizing.

john said...

And *MY* point is that the tiresome predicablility of judicial decisions.

As well holier than thou judges are getting on their high horse and doing such things as giving absurdly lenient sentences to protest minimum sentencing laws; (in Alberta) refusing to hear cases to demand new courthouses, dismissing charged offenders to protest funding to legal aid ect ect ect ect.........

The judiciary in this country have gone waaaaaay overboard in their arrogance and self importance.

Judges in this country are long overdue for some comeuppance.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"