Major Changes Required to Canadian Criminal Justice System

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
“You know what? I don’t even feel bad. I feel proud of myself,” he told a police officer during a five-hour interview in which he describes his dead wife in vulgar terms such as a “fat, ugly pig.” The only thing he admitted feeling sorry about was “I finished it off too soon.”

In 2005, Thorhild farmer Barry Schacker bludgeoned his wife to death with a crowbar while she sat at the kitchen table. He's admitted his guilt in the murder, plead guilty to 2nd degree murder, and both the Crown and the defence have asked that he serve at least a minimum of ... 10 years? ... before being eligible for parole. I really don't know why this shocks me given the state of our justice system. Teens who kill routinely avoid being charged as adults, serve a few years in a juvenile detention centre, their privacy protected and then get released back into the world with their past actions basically wiped clean. A "life sentence" is a huge misnomer in Canada. Typically, it means a sentence of 25 years with many offenders released on parole long before reaching that mark.

In the United States, sentencing is far more harsh. Some states still have the death penalty (which I'm not sure I disagree with or support), a three-strikes and you're out law, and a life sentence usually means at least 25 years, if not more. Oh sure, the American justice system has problems, there's no denying that, and I have a LOT of issues with the States, this is one area that I'd like to see Canada follow the lead of our American cousins on. I don't want us to have an identical system as they do, but we can certainly learn a few lessons about dealing with violent crime. There's frankly no deterrent for people who commit crime. Regardless of their crimes, in Canada we give them a slap on the wrist, make them promise to behave, and then set them free to re-offend. Ridiculous. Just look at the sentence Karla Homolka received for her involvement in a number of rapes and murders. She's out there living her life and *shudder* making babies ... its a disgrace and we should be ashamed.


* (asterisk) said...

Same here, Karen. I'm thinking... maybe it's the Crown that's to blame.

And yet they are the biggest supporters of blood sports.


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