Editorial – The law is an derriere.
Well, to be precise, and more appropriate – courts are – or maybe even more directly, lets put the onus where it needs to go – the judges and ones who preside over the courts are.
Please don’t take this lightly.
We highly respect what the courts used to be.
This has come about through sheer frustration of what is happening in our courts. Not from today, yesterday, last week, or last months, but years. And it’s only getting worse.
Frustration from victims, frustration from police – frustration from society.
And yet not a damn thing is being done about it.
Nothing – zip. People get charged with serious crimes – they get bail and sometimes are charged again. Worse than that, they are released again. There is no meaningful sentencing.
Examples are given daily regarding the failures of our court system.
But lets take a local example for instance.
And please be clear, all charges have not been proven in court. As in none – zip.
So this is just from the press releases we have received this information.
On October 12, 2022 Cobourg Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that the person of interest was operating. A person was arrested without incident on Division Street. Police seized $7,500 in Canadian currency and drugs with an estimated street value of $41,850.
23 grams of suspected Fentanyl
255 grams of suspected Cocaine
14 grams of suspected Heroin
15 grams of suspected Crystal Methamphetamine
The 25-year-old person was charged with seven criminal offences in relation to the seizure and was held for a bail hearing on October 12, 2022.
Bad enough right?
Hold your breath.
Four days later, the same person is charged with similar offences during a traffic stop in Cobourg.
It was approximately 9:50 p.m. on Sunday, October 16, 2022 that Cobourg Police on general patrol, “observed an individual known to be on a court-ordered release with strict conditions, driving a vehicle on University Avenue East.”
Police initiated a traffic stop for a “compliance” check.
The person was not complying with the condition of her curfew and was arrested.
During the arrest, police located illegal drugs with an estimated street value of $25,000 and over $1,000 in Canadian currency.
The list of drugs seized includes:
2.5 grams of suspected Heroin
25.82 grams of suspected purple Fentanyl
102.23 grams of suspected Crystal Methamphetamine
0.42 grams of suspected Crack Cocaine
Six more charges under the criminal code are added.
The person is again up for a bail hearing on October 17, 2022.
All of those charges are before the courts and again, innocent until proven guilty.
So if you’ve followed along to this point – here is the conclusion.
It’s time to put the onus on the courts – not on the suspects charged.
In fact, we’ll go as far to say, we don’t blame the suspects. Yup. That’s right. If the punish doesn’t fit the crime where is the deterrent – frankly there is none.
With the two most recent charges still being before the courts again, we repeat, the suspect is innocent till proven guilty in a court of law.
But given under normal circumstances, most people respect the law – if there was something to respect.
But when time, time and time and again, people are released regarding serious offences, what is the harm to continue the alleged offence if there is no repercussions by the court. And this is not referring to this one case. There are many cases across Canada with similar circumstances.
There isn’t one law abiding citizen that doesn’t loathe drugs and what they’ve done to society, to people, to families.
The accountability has to not only come from the people charged, but as a society we have to start demanding accountability from the judges who give the sentences.
Each time we hear of someone charged with a “fail to comply” society should demand a written response from the court why the suspect was released in the first place.
Justices of the Peace along with Superior Court Judges are paid handsomely. They also have a tough job. But they are also anonymous ghosts in a society where the public expects accountability.
It’s not only the suspects who are convicted that should take responsibility – it’s the person handing down the sentence.
We want our streets back.