(This column was published in the North Shore News on Aug. 21, 2002)

 

No consequence for actions

 By Leo Knight

A month ago in the area of 14th and Lonsdale, an incorrigible teenaged bully allegedly viciously attacked a 21-year-old Korean female student. The RCMP arrested the suspect a little over a week ago.

 

A mad male rapist did not commit this latest attack on a female Korean exchange student. I suspect this is much to the chagrin of the radical feminists who bashed every male in Christendom following the brutal attack on the Korean jogger in Stanley Park in the spring.

 

No, on this occasion, the victim was trying to get home shortly after 11 p.m. She was allegedly accosted by a 16-year-old girl who sucker-punched her in the face. According to the police, she said she had a gun and threatened the life of the Korean girl. The bully took her purse containing cash and credit cards. The thug, enriched by her ill-gotten gains, became a two-day millionaire allegedly going for a ride on the stolen credit cards.

 

Now, at the risk of using the word "allegedly'' enough to spark an interest in the Guinness people, I need to speak a little more generally about this matter.

 

One of the other reasons for being a little more general is that the Young Offenders Act prevents me or any other member of the media from telling you who this bully is. She is shielded from her neighbours knowing what a violent, thieving, thuggish lout she is. Or, more to the point, just how much at risk their kids might be at her hands.

 

The same thing happened the last time and the time before that. Yes, she was on probation when she decided to commit robbery with violence, an offence which, by the way carries with it a maximum penalty of life in a federal penitentiary - if she were an adult and we had a system of justice that actually dealt with criminals appropriately.

 

In this instance the offender has yet to see any meaningful consequence for her anti-social actions and if the past is any indicator, she'll see precious little in the way of consequences for this latest spit in the face of society.

 

This is a direct consequence of the weak-kneed policies of the former Minister of Justice, Anne McLellan, who was poised on the precipice of history when she was tasked with a total revamp of the juvenile offenders legislation. She failed and this is the result.

 

It's a pity, really. But it is all part of the great sham perpetrated on the citizens of this country by a government that is far too preoccupied with maintaining power than ever accomplishing anything meaningful. Such is the real legacy of the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien.

 

This less-than-feminine thug was on probation when she allegedly committed this egregious offence against the Korean student. While she may be in custody awaiting a court appearance on Monday, she will, if found guilty, be let out after a short period of time and placed on a period of probation to go with her other period of probation that she ignored anyway.

 

If you are beginning to see a circuitous argument here, that's good. Because it means you are beginning to understand the criminal justice system in Canada.

 

You see, the hand-wringers can't come to grips with the fact that individuals who keep committing crime after crime despite the intervention of the state, such as it is, will not change. Period.

 

But it's not just young offenders. We read time and again stories of disgusting and offensive crimes being committed by convicts on parole. The parole board shrugs and gives the "few bad apples" argument.

 

In Canada, all convicted criminals get parole at two-thirds of their sentence, regardless of their record in jail, and they are eligible after one-third. It takes a mighty bit of activity by the police, the Crown and corrections to get the parole board to "gate" a con - essentially rearrest the individual at the two-thirds point for the protection of the public. When they are out, they are essentially free to do what they will. And they do.

 

It's a little different in the United States.

 

A friend of mine is a police officer in southern California. He explained the situation there to me. In the U.S., in order to get parole, the con has to waive his constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

 

As my friend explains it further: "Therefore, if he is stopped on the street for anything or questioned at his home, he can be searched, his vehicle can be searched, and his living areas in a home can be searched, all without a warrant. Violation of a parole condition is not only grounds for arrest and cancellation of his parole, but also a new criminal offence."

 

You see, there is a consequence for actions in America. The state takes anti-social behaviour very seriously. And if someone doesn't learn, he is locked up and society is kept safe from the person.

 

That is the key. There should be a limit to the patience of society. And Korean girls on a student visa to this country should not have to pay a price simply because of the ideological demagoguery of those who actually believe a leopard can and will change its spots if you give it enough opportunities.

 

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