Friday, April 5, 2013



I am not a lawyer, nor a judge, nor an employee of the court system in any way shape or form. In fact none of my university degrees are in law.  They are in Political Science, Education and History. However,   I teach law at the secondary school level, and therefore profess to have a sound working knowledge of the legal system.  Plus I do a tremendous amount of reading on the subject, often reading Supreme Court decisions in my spare time. 
Somewhere deep down we would like to see justice served in our legal system, keeping in mind that everyone’s notion of justice can be different.   What spurred me to start this blog was the feeling that justice was not served in a recent case originating out of Hamilton involving a disabled man who was confined, tortured and robbed over the course of a 17 day period.  Two of the three perpetrators stand to have their sentence reduced as it was felt that the punishment meted out was unduly harsh.  One person had their sentence reduced six years (13-7) and another will have their 10 year sentence reduced to a length yet to be determined.  The third member did not appeal their 14 year sentence reduced. 
Room where a developmentally disabled Hamilton man was held and tortured for 17 days.
This is the room where a man was held for 17 days
Seems ridiculous to see perpetrators use the term “harsh punishment” when they tortured a  disabled young man in manners too graphic and disturbing to imagine. 
I do not get the reduction in sentence and that seems to be the belief of a number of people according to what was tweeted by CBC Hamilton’s Conrad Collaco.  In fact it can be argued that considering the events the sentences might have been seen as relatively light as there were three serious offenses committed during the course of the 17 days:  robbery, aggravated assault and forcible confinement.
While I take issue with some of the parameters of the US justice system, the fact that they have consecutive sentences rather than Canada’s system of concurrent sentences would seem to be more applicable here.  Three serious crimes should see 3 different punishments.  If you add them all together, that should be your sentence.   Concurrent punishment means all the punishments are served at the same time, essentially meaning that only the crime with the longest prison term is the one that actually plays. 
That in itself does not seem overly fair in this case.  Add in the notion of reducing the sentence and it seems somewhat ludicrous. 

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