Friday October 24, 2014

Punishments should fit the crime


I followed the Graham James sentencing hearing with great interest last week. James, who served 3 ½ years in jail for sexually assaulting Sheldon Kennedy and another hockey player in the 1980s and 1990s; is about to be sentenced for similar offense on Theoren Fleury, Todd Holt, and another man from the same time frame. The defense is saying he shouldn’t do another single day of jail time because he’s already been sentenced for crimes committed on Fleury and Holt’s teammates during the same time frame and under similar circumstances.  In fact, the defense says if Fleury and Holt stepped forward the same time Kennedy and the other unidentified player did; then James probably would’ve received about 4.5 years in jail. The crown is saying now that they know more offenses occurred than what they were, originally, led to believe then it’s a whole new ball game. They’ve asked for 6 years in prison.  The judge will decide March 20 and here’s to hoping James gets re-acquainted with the grey hotel. Hopefully, the crown is right because if the defense wins the argument, the law is essentially telling victims who are struggling to come forward to, pretty much, stay quiet because if an accused has already been punished for violating someone else, you are not really important anymore.

There were two tragic stories of child deaths last week that didn’t sit well with me. In Alberta, a newborn baby was killed by the family pet huskie when it, somehow, got out of its kennel and attacked the child that was lying in a crib. A judge will decide whether or not to have the animal destroyed. I have difficulty imagining how the animal made it through that moment of discovering your child has been bit to death without having been destroyed by its owner. Unfortunately, this story is one of tragedy and no maliciousness was intended by the parents or the dog for that matter. The second story is much different.  A 9-year-old girl died after disobeying her step mother and grandmother by eating a piece of chocolate. Her punishment was to run outside in the sweltering heat for three solid hours. Perhaps they would have made her run more, but she ended up suffering a seizure of some sort and died. If that’s not tragic enough, the idiot adults in this case still won’t admit the punishment was too severe. Instead, they are fighting criminal charges by claiming the chocolate must have caused a reaction. Another case of deflecting accountability.  Hopefully, they spend a considerable amount of time behind bars.

In Quebec, a man was sentenced to six years in jail for his 24th DUI offense. 24! It’s tough for me to imagine how a guy manages to get away with breaking the law that many times and isn’t put away and the key to his cell getting lost somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. He must have an amazing lawyer.  “Your honor, I realize Mr. LeBlanc (not his real name) has been caught drinking and driving 19 times and you have taken his license away forever; and despite the fact he continues to drive without a license and while impaired; I would hope you would consider his hardship and upbringing and give him five more chances before you put him in jail for any length of time.”  24 is a Canadian record for number of impaired offenses. It’s sad that someone has broken that law that many times and even worse that our system has enabled him to do it. I don’t know what the magic number is before you treat a DUI offense like a murder conviction; but it’s got to be long before 24 doesn’t it?

Sports channels across the country were live with NHL trade deadline reporting all day long on Monday. If HGTV were broadcasting a live episode of somebody’s grass growing over the same period of time, I would’ve watched HGTV. I know all-sports networks need to fill time, but this is ridiculous. There has to be a better way to spend two hours on tv other than dissecting the fact Rick Nash held a one minute and forty-three second media scrum. Sportsnet had a graphic that ran along the left hand side of the screen that said ‘In Play’. According to them, half of the NHLPA were up for trade.

New Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is banning alcohol in the team’s clubhouse in response to their epic collapse last season and the subsequent finding that a bunch of players were getting bombed during games in the clubhouse.  David Ortiz, who the Red Sox should pay until the day he dies, says, “We are not here to drink. We’re here to play baseball.  This ain’t a bar.” Amen.

How loaded is Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook guy? He could buy every seat to every New York Knicks game for next 100 years at the tickets’ current pricing structure.

Nice person mentions this week to Tammy Stevenson, Lynda Parsons, Larry Hilworth, Derek Henkelman, and Orvin Pineda.



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