It’s time to organize a placard march to the nearest MP’s office or courthouse to protest the gross lack of deterrence in our justice system.
As stated by Superintendent Ted de Jager, the RCMP are constantly arresting the same criminals who are in and out of court and back on the street plying their trade, sometimes the next day. It should be noted that de Jager is careful not to mention the court or the justice system because that would not be politically correct, but we all know that’s where the fingers are pointed.
The region’s top cop told reporters last week that one criminal they busted for a break-in was out on the street the next morning.
What is it going to take before the courts start getting serious with prolific offenders? We’re starting to think that politicians have no power (or the will) to change the law because it is so futile. We’ve been calling for change for how many years and still there is no deterrence.
You can’t blame the RCMP because they already do their due diligence in catching these criminals and recommending charges.
From there, the Crown weighs the circumstances to determine if the charges will likely lead to a conviction.
The difficulty is that society has given criminals so many Charter rights that are exploited by lawyers who play the same old sympathy card (you can always predict what they are going to say).
Then, when it comes to sentencing, everything is so watered down that the most you can hope for is a few days in jail, but in many cases it ends up being probation and community service work.
Don’t close the door on your way out because someone’s right behind you.
There are rare occasions when you see people who are actually trying to break the cycle of crime. For example, a Penticton judge recently shook the hand of an offender who was turning his life around. Now those are the people who deserve a second chance.
But many prolific offenders play the system with the help of their lawyers, taking advantage of the revolving door. (It squeaks so loudly they have a good supply of WD40 at the courthouse.)
Our politicians and lawmakers must be held accountable for this cookie-cutter sentencing and a system that caters to the rights of criminals over their victims.
We need to bring back some real deterrence and rebuild what’s been broken by years of bleeding heart neglect.
By Lyonel Doherty