Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And Throw away the key??

IN Canadian Law we have a designation of dangerous offender. A person so designated is subject to a jail term of indefinite length. Currently the onus is on the Crown to prove that a person is worthy of such a sentence. But that may change.

THe federal government has introduced new legislation which is essentially a 3-strikes-you're-out approach to dangerous offender status. And one of the points in it is:

Under the bill, the onus would be put on convicted criminals to prove they should not be declared dangerous offenders, otherwise they would be designated as dangerous and be given an indeterminate jail sentence, with no eligibility for parole for seven years.

NOw is it just me or does this turn things backward? In essence it assumes that a person is dangerous and beyond rehabilitation and they have to prove otherwise.

There is a reason there is more pressure on prosecuters to prove a case. It is a safeguard. I am sure that if one did a study you would learn that a large percentage of persons designated a dangerous offender come from underprivileged groups in our society--those who have fewer resources to mount a legal defence.

I understand the concept of protecting society. But this approach to doing so stinks.

1 comment:

  1. It's called "Underfunding social agencies to balance the budget, and adding some dollars to prisons for the fallout from that underfunding."