Indigenous hunting rights…

April 24, 2021

Supreme Court of Canada –

R vs Desautel – The Supreme Court of Canada rules that non-citizens and non-residents can claim an Aboriginal right under the Constitution.

In what may be recognized as a significant and precedent setting decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that a member of a tribe whose ancestors inhabited the land does not need a hunting license in Canada whether that person lives in what is now Canada or the United States. “Mr. Richard Lee Desautel, an American citizen, shot and killed an elk without a hunting license in the Arrow Lakes region in British Columbia in October 2010. He is a member of the Lakes Tribe of the Colville Confederated Tribes and lives on reserve in Washington State.”   Related article:  Washington Post (US) – Canada’s Supreme Court says some Native Americans can hunt in British Columbia

Toronto Star – By Morgan Bocknek, Robert Cribb, and Liam G. McCoy
Antidepressant use among youth is skyrocketing across Canada. Prescribing doctors say they have little choice as teens ‘can’t wait nine months’ for therapy

What does a lack of or delay in getting therapy do for our youth?  The answer is very pointed in this report.  The interim delay leads to doctors prescribing anti-depressant.  The delay can extend for as long as nine months, an obviously undesirable consequence to the presenting problem of mental health.   Several provinces have seen as much as 240% increases in anti-depressant for youth.  Ontario, say the authors, is more complicated.  What of these anti-depressants?  “They are typically not used effectively. Many physicians prescribe inadequate dosages for inadequate lengths of time. It is an issue of quality of care. Overall, antidepressants cause more good than harm in teens and young adults. Still, some individuals will not benefit from them and will be hurt,” said Dr. Benoit Mulsant, chair of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.”

Iowa Starting Line (US) – Isabella Murray
How Iowa Police Officers Are Being Trained In ‘Killology’

For those who think the Chauvin verdict is a pointed and powerful victory for better relations between the public and the police, here’s a reminder of how deeply embedded the problem is. Retired Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, former U.S. Army Ranger, paratrooper and West Point psychology professor, is a spokesperson for an aggressive and combative approach to policing, and to be less reluctant about the use of deadly force to protect the innocent.  “His fixation on this mentality is seemingly fueled by a messianic self-appointment to save the “flocks” (civilians) by training “sheepdogs” (lawfully armed community members) to treat even the smallest of American towns like war zones laced with imminent threats.”  Grossman who has presented eight times since 2010, is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.  Related article: N.Y. Times – David Gelles   N.A.A.C.P. Leader Says ‘a Few Checks’ Can’t Fix Structural Racism

Supreme Court of the United States – Amy Howe
Court upholds life-without-parole sentence for Mississippi man convicted as juvenile

“Brett Jones, who was convicted of the 2004 stabbing death of his grandfather, a crime committed when Jones was 15. Jones had argued that two recent Supreme Court decisions on mandatory life-without-parole decisions for juveniles – the court’s 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama and its 2016 ruling in Montgomery v. Louisiana – required the judge who sentenced him to find that he was incapable of rehabilitation before imposing life without parole. By a vote of 6-3 in Jones v. Mississippi, the justices disagreed, holding that it was enough that the judge considered his youth in sentencing him.”  Related article:   Blogger John Pfaff (US) – The Supreme Court decided today that judges do not even have to determine if a child “incorrigible” before imposing a life without parole sentence on that child.  Related article: Blogger David Menschel   A backgrounder on Miller vs Montgomery   Blogger Maurice Chammah –  Breaking: SCOTUS rules against people who committed crimes as children, and were sentenced to life without parole.

Criminal Justice Alliance (UK) – Sophie Wainwright
How the policing and sentencing bill will deepen inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people

While we in North America are looking at the expansion of police powers to stop and search, advocates in the UK are fearful of criminalizing several minority groups: Roma, Gypsies, and Travelers, who are wanderers.  The new powers allow police to enforce trespass as a criminal offence.  “This criminalisation of trespass and increased police powers will likely push more Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people into the criminal justice system, despite these groups already being grossly overrepresented throughout both the adult and youth justice estates. Finally, the enforcement not engagement approach to policing contained in the Bill will only damage an already fraught relationship between Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and the police.”    CBC News – Jason Proctor B.C. murder cases in jeopardy as accused killer walks free, police slammed for ignoring law – Case revealed ‘egregious’ policy of not complying with search and seizure law: judge

 Toronto Star – Nadine Yousif
Toronto approved non-police crisis response teams. This woman is trying to build them

Denise Campbell got the assignment in February and with it a one year reporting mandate to introduce pilot projects for 911 responses to mental illness calls.  Pointedly instead of police, the chore involves a broad sweep of community organizations and the police.  She is facing designing the criteria for response teams and the way the teams are funded as well as how they will interact with both police and community groups.  She will also look to see if the new teams will use the current 911 or a different emergency number.  The pilot teams are estimated to cost $7.2 – 7.8 million and the clock is ticking.  Related article: Toronto Star – Ryan Patrick Jones   Budget allocates funding for Black communities, race-based data action plan – Budget allocates funding for Black communities, race-based data action plan  (NB A nine month old video assessment of racism – about 10 minutes long – has a link at this site.)   Related article:  The Cambridge Times (ON) – Lauren Scott   ‘There is no neutral ground’: Advocates say community must step up after ‘White Lives Matter’ posters found in Wilmot – ‘There will always be a segment of society for whom justice and equity is a threat,’ says Waterloo racism and equity expert–there-is-no-neutral-ground-advocates-say-community-must-step-up-after-white-lives-matter-posters-found-in-wilmot/

 CBS News (Raleigh, NC) – Jamiese Price
NC bill would ban shackling pregnant inmates

The practice is hand and ankle shackles on pregnant women giving birth has still not been outlawed throughout the US.  The link describes the practice and the detrimental impact on giving birth while in custody.  House Bill 608 is called Dignity for Women Who are Incarcerated Act.  The bill “would prohibit the use of restraints on women during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum recovery… It also requires that women are given proper food and nutrition, limits restrictive housing, and mandates training for correctional officers to support pregnant women’s physical and mental needs.

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (UK)
COVID-19 in prisons: preparing for future pandemics –

Zoom conference June 16, 2021 at 9:30AM (British time) 

Registration by free / by donation Panelists:  Chantal Edge – Public Health Registrar and National Institute of Health Research Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow (University College London Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health); Nasrul Ismail – Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol; Dr. Éamonn O’Moore – MD MPH FFPH, National Lead for Health & Justice, Public Health England and Director UK Collaborating Centre World Health Organisation Health in Prisons Programme (European Region)   Register at:   Related article: The Marshall Project – Nicole Lewis  How we survived the pandemic in prison – At the start of the pandemic, we asked four incarcerated people to chronicle daily life with the coronavirus. Here, they reveal what they witnessed and how they coped with the chaos, fear, isolation and deaths.

 WOBM Radio (NJ)
Legal marijuana battles shift to town halls and congress

The legality of marijuana continues to be controversial in the US because it is against both the state and federal law.  Decisions made at the state level do not reverse the issues of federal law.  This link offers an update in that struggle in New Jersey where local officials are trying to end the criminalization of possession while at the federal level  U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said “fellow senators literally snickered at him when he first proposed marijuana legislation that included restorative justice provisions.”  The House has already decriminalized marijuana but bill sits unattended in the Senate.  Related article: ABC News (Chicago) – Michelle Gallardo and Alexis McAdams  Markham residents gather to support mayor elected for 2nd time despite 20 year old mail fraud conviction   (In many places in the US, a felony record precludes holding public office, a so-called secondary punishment.)