Second chance…

Feb 10, 2022

CBC News
In 13th day of protest, police warn of arrests, charges for those blocking streets – City of Ottawa also increases fines for noise, idling, fires to $1,000

One inevitable reaction of an annoyed public is why it is taking 13 days to decide to enforce the law and why police need more resources / personnel to do so, a question that needs be asked across the country.  Canada has in some provinces a provincial police force and a federal police force in addition to the municipal.  Almost all the hot spots are now asking for more police, even the army.  Why?  Is there some sort of problem with the Police Act?  Is it a political problem?  Why were the methods presently espoused delayed in application? Another issue comes from the funding and its international sources.  Related article: CBC News RCMP enter area as Alberta protesters say they won’t move to new site – Border blockaded again Tuesday following announcement from Alberta premier  Related article: CBC News – Elizabeth Thompson   Convoy protest received large number of donations from abroad – The most common source for foreign donations was the United States   Related article: CBC News  Judy Trinh   How organizers with police and military expertise may be helping Ottawa convoy protest dig in – Those involved with organizing protest include former RCMP and military officers   Related article: The Conversation (Queen’s) – Erica Chamberlain  Could Ottawa police be sued for failing to arrest ‘freedom convoy’ protesters?

The Hill (US) – Jeffrey D. Korzenik
The nation should model Utah’s ‘Clean Slate’ on criminal records

Utah’s Republican government passed this bill.  Essential, for minor crimes, when there is a crime free intervening period, the criminal record is sealed and a person no longer has to endure the additional punishments in employment, housing and education.  “Clean Slate laws automatically seal the records of people acquitted or convicted of relatively minor crimes, so long as they remain crime-free for a certain period.  This is not a “soft-on-crime” approach, but rather a recognition that people should not bear lifelong burdens for minor past mistakes. As things stand, roughly one in three U.S. adults face substantial and often unnecessary barriers to employment, housing and education – often for decades-old offenses.”   Related article: Santa Fe – New Mexican – Daniel J. Chacon   New Mexico Senate passes bill to end life sentences without parole for youth  Related article: Blogger Russell Webster (UK) – How do you find work as a released sex-offender?   Related article:  The Compassionate Project (US): The Vision of a Compassionate Prison with Brian Koehn (A one hour Youtube video – A former warden introduces social profit correction) Related article: The Sentencing Project (US) – Richard Mendel   State Action to Narrow the School-to-Prison Pipeline   (Thanks to a $122 billion infusion of federal funds for public education included in the March 2021 American Rescue Plan, schools and communities have the opportunity to invest vast resources in effective new approaches to close the school-to-prison pipeline. The Sentencing Project has examined the plans submitted by every state for use of these federal funds.)     Related article: Brennan Center for Justice (US) – Carlton Miller  Countering Excessive Punishment with Chances for Redemption – A personal story shows the full costs of an unfair system and demonstrates how it can be improved.   Related article: CBC News – Bryan Eneas   A Gladue report changed his life. Like many other marginalized offenders, he didn’t know it was his right – Team in Sask. is making reports more accessible to those who stand to benefit most  (Article provides a good review of the practice of Gladue)

 Pew Research Center (US)
Public’s Views of Supreme Court Turned More Negative before News of Breyer’s Retirement – 84% say justices should not bring their political views into decisions

The US public has apparently lowered its approval rating for the Supreme Court by almost 15% in the last three years, the loss largely from Democrats.  54% approve the court but 46% disapprove, the survey conducted in early January before Justice Breyer announced his retirement.  The research comments on other factors as well – the court’s ideology, the amount of power exercised by the court, and the growth in scepticism around the political influence in decision making.  Related article: Washington Post – Jennifer Rubin   More evidence the Supreme Court is hostile to the Voting Rights Act

CTV News – Canadian Press
Dentist in N.L. let correctional officer pull ‘one or more’ teeth from sedated inmate

This bizarre story has resulted in an incarcerated man, sedated and unconscious at the time, losing four teeth to a prison guard under the guidance of a licensed dentist.  It also resulted in the dentist having his license suspended’ he and the guard are also charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

Government of Canada
Proposed Legislation – Canada’s System of Justice

There are four pieces of legislation now before or already passed into law by the Canadian Parliament.  Bill C-3   Amendments to the Criminal Code to protect health care workers and people seeking access to health services  (Received Royal Assent in Dec 2021); Bill C-4 Proposed changes to Canada’s Criminal Code relating to conversion therapy (Also has received Royal Assent); Bill C-5  Addressing Systemic Racism in Canada’s Criminal Justice System while maintaining public safety: proposed legislative amendments to the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Received second reading in the House);    Bill C-9: Proposed changes to the Judges Act relating to reforming the judicial complaints process  (First reading in the House).