Legal side…

May 23, 2020

Global News – Stewart Bell and Andrew Russell
The terrorism confronting Canada: Unsophisticated and frustratingly effective

Bell and Russell are suggesting, an illustrating with examples, that while we have paid almost exclusive attention to political terrorist groups, the individual terrorist. Lured by internet propaganda, is also racking up a toll.  “It’s nearly impossible to stop these opportunistic attacks, particularly from lone wolves that don’t have a digital footprint per se, or aren’t part of a larger organization,” said Colin Clarke, a senior research fellow at the Soufan Centre.”  The article is prompted by the police decision that a stabbing in Toronto stemmed from an INCEL source – a     misogynist man who feels generally rejected by women and reacts in indiscriminate violence.   Related article:  Global News – Stewart Bell,  Andrew Russell and Catherine MacDonald     Deadly attack at Toronto erotic spa was incel terrorism, police allege  Related article – Time (Canada) – Melissa Godin   Canadian Teen Charged With Terrorism Over Attack Allegedly Motivated By ‘Incel Movement’   Related article: Toronto Star – Alex Boutilier  Why CSIS is changing the way it talks about extremist threats, including ‘incel’ violence

MacLean’s Editorial (May 19, 2020)
Will this pandemic’s legacy be a universal basic income?

What will be the most demonstrable legacy of the CERB federal government payments, given that most seismic disruptions have produced some permanent changes?   “But the notion of a universal or guaranteed basic income as a solution to poverty has been around in many forms for years. Proponents have ranged from philosophers to social welfare advocates to Milton Friedman, the late free market economist. A basic income given to every adult who needs it, regardless of ability or status, promises true social justice by ensuring no citizen suffers from a lack of necessary resources. For Friedman, the attraction lay in eliminating enormously complicated welfare bureaucracies. A cash payment is the simplest and most efficient way to help all people… A universal basic income seems a fitting rebuttal to the universal hardship wrought by the current pandemic.”

 Lawyer’s Daily – Amanda Jerome
Legal groups file Charter challenge against government to protect federal inmates

The lawsuit application “filed a constitutional and human rights challenge on May 12 that compels the government to release federal prisoners, “with precedence for those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or underlying health conditions.”  Advocates note further that in contrast to many provincial and international authorities, “CSC has taken few if any steps to release federal prisoners from its institutions.” In an effort to pressure the Public Safety Minister, other advocates have started a where is Bill Blair? query.   Related article: Equal Justice Initiatives (US)   Legal Barriers to Challenging Excessive Force by Police

New York Times:  Jan Ransom
Virus Raged at City Jails, Leaving 1,259 Guards Infected and 6 Dead – Correction officers in New York City live in fear of bringing the virus home to families. They say the city has not protected them.

The virus victims in this link are guards at the infamous Rikers Island where the tragedy of at-work infection makes its way home to loved ones.  “The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on New York City’s 9,680 correction officers and their supervisors, who, like the police and firefighters, are considered essential workers. So far, 1,259 have caught the virus and six have died, along with five other jail employees and two correctional health workers. The officers’ union contends that the death of one other guard is also the result of Covid-19.”   Needless to say, the majority of the guards are Black and Latino.   Related article: Washington Post: Radley Balko  The last days of a covid-19 prisoner  Related article: N.Y. Times – Caitlin Dickerson   More Than 900 Children Have Been Expelled Under a Pandemic Border Policy – Since the coronavirus broke out, the Trump administration has deported hundreds of migrant children alone — in some cases, without notifying their families.

Washington Post (US) – Nick Miroff
Trump’s preferred construction firm lands $1.3 billion border wall contract, the biggest so far

The wily days of political partisanship often have one direct consequence: the ability to detract from one agenda by flashing another.  The focus on US immigration has faded into the background until this headline hits the eye, reminding us of other agenda submerge by the focus on the Covid-19 virus.  As usual, the path is through political cronies, suspect practices around contracting, and corrupt policies.

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement

In May, 2020, new legislation came into force in the UK requiring those for whom alcohol was a significant factor in the crime to wear an ankle tag or electronic device to measure the sweat on the skin and thereby detect alcohol consumption.  The abstinence order can be applied for 120 days and those who breach the court order can be returned to court for a fine, an extension of the court order, or return to jail.  The process will not apply to dependent alcohol consumers since there is a medical risk involved in total abstinence.  There is a process to determine who should wear the electronic device.

National Centre for Reaching Victims (US)
COVID-19 Impact Briefs

An agency with VERA Institute connections, the Center has produced a series of briefings on how the virus Covid-19 has impacted on various segments of the population.  There are eight such briefings in all, all focusing on a vulnerable part of the public.  Deriving from a series of listening sessions with the specific population, the briefs are generally 5-6 pages of large print, identifying the particular vulnerability of youth, LGTBQ, the elderly, immigrant, ex-offenders, etc.   Related article:  Homeless Hub / Blogger Abe Oudshoorn   Lessons Learned From a COVID-19 Outbreak in an Emergency Shelter   Related article: Texas Tribune (US) – Jolie McCullough  She walked out of jail into a pandemic. Now she can’t find the help she needs to get back on her feet.


Bons mots:

The US Equal Justice Initiatives (EJI), founded by Black lawyer Bryan Stevenson, was recently awarded a Webbie for the best web site of a not-for-profit.  Stevenson accepted the award with five words:  “Do Justice! Love mercy! Hope!”   (Website: )