Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Criminal Justice Veteran Speaks Out

Hi David

Thanks for the emails leading me to your blog. I think your position on the requirement to testify is bang on with the exception you are blaming the wrong people. The culprit in this matter is the law thanks to Pierre Trudeau and the wonderful Canadian Charter. The real issue in all of this is do we have two sets of laws one for the community of criminals and another for the police. The Charter guarantees certain rights one of which is a fair trial for all. In the case of the RCMP and the tasering issue there is only one question to be answered and that is "did the RCMP members act within the force options as set out in the RCMP procedures"? That is it. If they did go to the next step and examine the procedures and determine whether or not the use of tasers under certain circumstances is a useful tool for the police. Does it save more lives and injury for the police and suspect or doesn't it?

We have been very careful in this Country to ensure the right to a fair trial takes precedent over all other considerations. Unfortunately, we have a prosecution in this Province that has lost its way. The job of the prosecutor is to present evidence under the rules of law to the court. In the US the prosecutors are not the friend of the defendant or the police the are the enemy and should be. The RCMP should not be compelled to testify at any hearing prior to a decision being made about criminal charges the same right all citizens enjoy.

If the people of Canada are so appalled by the system which we all share why in hell are they not doing something about it. Did you see anything in the last election that placed this issue as a priority for any of the Parties? No.

Unfortunately I must declare myself to be one of the crazies like you that believe our enabling approach to the drug problem is dead wrong. By that I mean dead wrong for the addicts. We both have worked extensively with addicts and know that approaches like needle exchange and safe injections sites lead to more deaths of addicts than the average person can imagine.

I realize most people think the RCMP are trying to cover-up the incident. That is preposterous when you consider it is such a public story. They, in my opinion, are doing what they have to do to protect the rights of four citizens who happen to be members of the RCMP.

Vern Campbell

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