Saturday, June 28, 2008

Alice Russell

A Glory Day for Free Speech

A marvelous bonus day for Free Speech in Canerder yesterday.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed the hate charges against Maclean's magazine.

Of course, the BC Chamber of Silliness has yet to decide.

And the Supreme Court ruled that Rafe Mair was not liable for expressing his thoughts on Kari Simpson and her anti-gay crusade in Surrey schools.

Now, if someone can just get the BC Kangeroos to Yuk Yuks and heckle them for an hour or so...

Rare Good Move

We welcome the news that Stockwell Day is changing prison policy to make it more difficult for dangerous offenders to be moved to medium and minimum security jails.

Corrections Canada has been an irresponsible ass for far too long.

This small measure might help.

Alex on Sentencing, from 24 Hours


There is no way Michael Levy could have seen them coming. No way.

Cornered at a side exit of Tynehead Hall in Surrey, on a brisk October night in 2006, three thugs, in concert, beat him mercilessly. Two of them alternated punching and breaking a bottle over him. The third hoodlum took an axe to Michael Levy’s spine.

Four times.

There wasn’t much holding his head to the rest of his body. He lost almost two litres of blood and were it not for his then exceptional physical conditioning, he would have surely perished in the unearthly attack. He was training to go off with the Canadian Forces as an infantryman. A strapping lad, who always exuded goodness and kindness, his life was set in permanent intercession between his dreams and stark reality.

Crippled, perhaps, but not in spirit.

Much has changed since that fateful night. Michael Levy is a quadriplegic, resigned to his fate, but nobly soldiers on, sometimes even trading jokes with his stoic mother and adoring sister, while the three louts, who attacked him, will see punishment meted out to them that most certainly does not fit the crime.

I will not mention their names, even though they were raised to adult court, because they are not worthy of having their fifteen minutes of overtime fame attached to such a brazen act of comprehensive evil. But there is something very wrong with all this…

There is something very wrong with a criminal justice system that hails a just society as it’s mantra, but cannot do more than hand out sentences that amount to laughable reprimand for the three cowards, who randomly ambushed Michael Levy and effectively sentenced him to wheelchair.

For life.

There is something very wrong with an Attorney General of this Province, who chastises the police for speaking out on the light nature of sentencing for repeat offenders, for serious offenders, and any violent offenders—period.

Have we not had enough of this rank insanity?

How many more people, I wonder aloud, have to die or be maimed before we’re really outraged? When will sentencing in this country fall into line with being fair to the victims? To their families?

The axe-wielding lout was sentenced to ten years, reduced to eight for time already served. Eight years for taking an axe to someone’s spine??? Four times?? And remember the horse’s ass who along with his idiotic friends, post sentencing, decided to laugh all the way down the elevator of the Law Courts, with cameras in tow? He has to spend seven months of his original twenty month sentence in a detention center country club. Lovely.

Michael Levy received a life sentence at the hands of these bastards. There should have been a law to make them rot in jail for the rest of their lives, even the ones who facilitated the axe man. No parole, no reprieve. Not ever.

If the Conservative Government are want to show us, in sincerity, that they are going to renew our faith in the justice system, then change the damn laws so that they fit the crimes committed. Punish someone who takes someone else’s life from them.

Michael Levy’s mother, Deborah, as kind a soul as you could ever meet tells me that her son has good days and bad. “Some days are tougher than others”, she says. “For all of us, but mostly for Michael…but he’s tough and he understands what he needs to do to get through”

“I try not to cry”, she says bravely. And then her voice breaks.

“Michael really wanted to go into the Canadian Forces, it was his dream. I would have been so proud, but I’m still so proud of him. They didn’t kill his spirit. Sometimes I think he’s stronger than all of us”

Of course they didn’t break his spirit.

Because you don’t have to have a pile of shiny medals on your chest to be a hero.

Ernistine Anderson