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Are Judges Getting The Message?

January 24th, 2008

Maybe it’s two isolated cases, but when was the last time two stories in a week featured get tough judgements?

This was a particularly heinous crime. It has shocked the conscience of right-thinking people across the country,” a solemn Ontario Superior Court Justice David McCombs ruled yesterday in denying her bail.

“I have concluded that this is one of those rare cases where detention is justified … in order to maintain confidence in the administration of justice.”

Don’t judges usually say “this was a particularly heinous crime…” just before they respond as if it isn’t? Perhaps if she been caught with a gun when they arrested her, bail would have been easier to give:

The main principle is general deterrence,” said Justice Alexander Sosna. “These offences have been and continue to be a serious problem in our community.”…

“As unfortunate as these circumstances may be, they do not determine the ultimate sentence,” said Judge Sosna. “It is my responsibility to impose a sentence on an exemplary citizen who has committed a serious crime.”

Deterrence? Responsibility to impose sentence? What about your responsibility to the criminal?

Just two cases, but perhaps it’s the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps we are seeing the start of tougher justice from judges who are getting the message – Canadians want crime to pay.

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