Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Apparently this is called "Justice" in Canada...

Mark your calendars folks, this week is a truly sad one for Canada's Justice System, although it is not the first such occasion nor do I suspect it will be the last. What has taken place this week has been described by many as a travesty, personally I don't feel that is a strong enough word to describe the transgression of justice that occurred and as a Canadian I hold my head in shame. I only hope that this is a call to action that echoes through the halls of parliament and one that motivates our politicians to create laws that set the standards for the rest of the world.

Earlier this week we witnessed one more example of how truly broken the system is and how a criminal's needs and rights generally supersede those of their victims. In our current legal system at times it seems that even when the crime is heinous and the victim is violated in ways that will have lingering consequences, the judicial attitude appears to lean in the direction that "too harsh" a sentence for the convicted will only ruin another life. The recent conviction of pedophile Graham James earlier this week is just one more classic example of how our system fails to protect society from the "worst of the worst". Just how bad are things?

Tuesday morning in a Manitoba provincial courtroom Judge Catherine Carlson sentenced James to two years for sexually abusing two former players, Theoren Fleury (a now ex NHL player) and Fleury's younger cousin, Todd Holt. The abuse took place while James was coaching them in the junior hockey during the 1980s and early '90s. Fleury detailed in a victim impact statement released in late February how he was assaulted more than 150 times "by an adult (James) my family and I trusted completely" 
Fleury further urged the court. "Do not show leniency to Graham James. He certainly never did to me or any of his other prey" 

James originally faced nine sex charges involving three players, with the alleged incidents occurring between 1979 and 1994. But due to a plea deal, he only pleaded guilty to charges involving two players (isn't that just swell?). Here's a video that lets one of the victims voice his opinion over the sentencing

Now lets have a look at Mr James history, this guy is not a "one -timer" (although that would make it no less reprehensible) over a period of years he committed literally hundreds of acts of sexual abuses on young boys that he was coaching in hockey. Boys whose trust he violated and who as their coach he had a great deal of power and control over, to the point of using threats to end their promising hockey careers if they said anything.

Previously, in 1997 James pleaded guilty to sexual assaults on another two boys, one of them former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy. For this he received a paltry sentence of 3 1/2 years, which he only served 18 months of or in simple terms less than half! So while James was out after only 550 days or so (18 months) his victims are scarred for life.

So what we have here is a twice convicted sexual predator of young boys and the best our Canadian justice system can do the second time around is sentence him to two (2) years in prison? Now, although he was sentenced to two years for each of the two offenses this does not add another day of jail time as they will be served concurrently (at the same time). To make it much worse, with all the perks, passes and allowances he’ll receive for the "suffering he’s endured" while waiting for trial he will likely be out out of prison by later this year. Seriously, I am not making this up, this is our justice system in action.

"This is not a case, as the court often sees, of an accused, re-offending after he has been sentenced," Judge Catherine Carlson stated  This comment addressed the fact that the offenses happened before James was previously sentenced. Unfortunately all this proves is that the first sentence was not nearly long enough (a life sentence with no eligibility for parole would have been a reasonable start) as the true depths of this individuals crimes were not fully known, any rational system would have used the current  sentencing as an opportunity to make up for its oversight on the first sentencing. But again, this is Canada and who ever claimed our justice system was rational.

Now, as far as I am concerned it is the responsibility and duty of any justice system not only to mete out fair justice, but to also protect the innocent and those unable to protect themselves from the those that would take advantage of them. Sadly the sentence handed down to Graham James does neither, as the case and it's sentencing send a very clear message to sexual predators , its open season on minors in Canada!

Recently we have heard much debate about how our government is spending millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars to build prisons and detention facilities that due to falling crimes rate are no longer required. Quite frankly it is no wonder some claim that we don't need more prison space when the space we currently have is underutilized. In the case of a Graham James, this guy should be in prison until the day he dies, society is not safe when he walks the streets! I could make an entire list of individuals that fall into the same category as Mr James, you know "lock em up and throw away the key" types. However, we live in a society where some still believe that even these lowlifes have some redeeming value and can somehow be rehabilitated (good luck on that one).  My solution for the likes of Graham James is the same one I would suggest for a rabid dog, but until that day comes I would sleep much better ( as would most parents) knowing he was locked away for good. Nuff Said!

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