What a load: Justice system fails again.

Anakha1

Banned
What a load: Justice system fails again.

A man who was just a month-and-a-half shy of his 18th birthday when Robert Baker's bludgeoned body was found floating in the Ottawa River will be tried in youth court on a charge of second-degree murder, an Ottawa judge has ruled. Justice Judy Beaman ruled yesterday that the accused, who is now 19, will be tried as a young person in connection with the November 2002 homicide.

Police believe that after Baker, 45, was killed in an apartment on Beechwood Ave. several blocks from the river, his body was wheeled in a shopping cart through the back streets of Vanier and New Edinburgh before being dumped in the river.

Two adults have already been committed to stand trial on charges laid in connection with Baker's grisly killing.

Leo Brizard, 43, was committed for trial on a charge of second-degree murder.

TRAIL OF BLOOD

Josee Chouinard, 32, accused of being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Baker, her former common-law husband, was committed to stand trial on that charge as well as a charge of obstructing justice.

A second youth has also been charged with being an accessory after the fact.

The four were arrested Nov. 26, 2002, just hours after a passerby spotted the body and called police. Police followed a trail of blood from the river to an apartment several blocks away on Beechwood Ave.
Someone tell me why a guy who's a month and a half shy of being 18 gets tried as a minor for a murder. (btw, in Canada being charged as a youth means not much more than a slap on the wrist... our juvenile justice system is practically impotent, IMO) Is he somehow lacking the ability to understand his crime at an adult capacity because of that 45 days?

It's even more a kick in the face considering that up here under accordance with the law 16 and 17 year olds CAN be tried as adults in cases of murder if a judge deems it so. And yet this one goes in the reverse direction.

Sheesh.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
Anakha1 said:
Someone tell me why a guy who's a month and a half shy of being 18 gets tried as a minor for a murder. (btw, in Canada being charged as a youth means not much more than a slap on the wrist... our juvenile justice system is practically impotent, IMO) Is he somehow lacking the ability to understand his crime at an adult capacity because of that 45 days?

It's even more a kick in the face considering that up here under accordance with the law 16 and 17 year olds CAN be tried as adults in cases of murder if a judge deems it so. And yet this one goes in the reverse direction.

Sheesh.
I would rather see more of this than that we continue executing for crimes committed by 12 year olds.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
We have a system that allows for capital punishment for minors.

Generally when this happens, the minors are adults by the time they are actually executed, but that still doesn't excuse the practice. We have sentenced to death crimes committed by people as young as 12, which I find morally reprehensible. To make matters worse, the decision of whether or not to try a youngster as an adult all too often is a decision based on race and economics (although probably not consciously so). All in all, the whole notion of trying children as adults has left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Basically I'm saying that in the matter of choosing whether or not to try children as adults, I would much rather err on the side of caution.
 

Anakha1

Banned
Underseer said:
We have a system that allows for capital punishment for minors.

Generally when this happens, the minors are adults by the time they are actually executed, but that still doesn't excuse the practice. We have sentenced to death crimes committed by people as young as 12, which I find morally reprehensible. To make matters worse, the decision of whether or not to try a youngster as an adult all too often is a decision based on race and economics (although probably not consciously so). All in all, the whole notion of trying children as adults has left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Basically I'm saying that in the matter of choosing whether or not to try children as adults, I would much rather err on the side of caution.

Ah. Well I agree with you since I'm against capital punishment as well. But this occurred here in Canada and we don't have the death penalty for anyone, so it's not an issue up here. I was merely thinking that there's no way a guy 45 days short of his 18th birthday is any less responsible for his alleged crime than he would be if he were born 45 days earlier. In my opinion he's not a child anymore. This judge made a bad call, IMO, since she could have easily tried him as an adult under the 16/17 law for murder.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, the cut-off point has to be somewhere, and I think putting it at the same boundary beyond which people can vote, join the army and buy cigarettes is probably as good a place as any.
 

Anakha1

Banned
Underseer said:
Well, the cut-off point has to be somewhere, and I think putting it at the same boundary beyond which people can vote, join the army and buy cigarettes is probably as good a place as any.

Granted, but up here there are different ages for different things, too. At 14 you can have legal consentual sex with anyone 14 and over. At 16 you can operate a vehicle. At 17 you can join the army. These are both 'adult' things that require responsibility and awareness of your actions. If they can be considered adult enough to handle these actions, why can they not be held accountable for murder?

And this is exactly the reason why we have the 16/17 law for murder. Just on the principle that people that age have the maturity and responsibility and awareness to be accountable for their crimes. I don't think there's many among us who would say that a 15 year old doesn't have the same capacity as an adult to realize murder is wrong and should be punished.
 

Dutchman

Diabloii.Net Member
If convicted he will spend 5 years in prison which while light for murder isn't what I call a slap on the wrist. The judge is within their rights to sentence the maximum without parole so 5 years could be gauranteed.

I don't know the details of the case but I'm perfectly willing to accept a 5 year sentence for a 17 year old outside of cases where true sadism was apparent.

As I said, I don't know the details, but do I think a 17 year old who does something on the spur of the moment, even something heinous, should be held to the same standard as someone who does the same thing at 45? No, I do not.

Now I certainly don't like the current system, in my opinion the sentences for young offenders should be the same as for adults with the only difference being parole. 25 to life with no parole for 15 for the adult, but a chance at parole after 5 for the kid. Let qualified professionals decide after 5 years whether the person kid should be let out, don't gaurantee it. Give the kid a chance to grow up and get straight but don't assume that just because they are young its a lock.

To the point of being almost 18, well as mentioned you have to draw the line somewhere and youn will always have those fringe cases testing the limits of the system as a whole.

Dutch
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
For murders committed by adults, parole should never be offered, not even for second degree accidental homicides (or whatever the correct legalese term is).

I'm against the death penalty, but I think a number of our non-lethal penalties are entirely too lenient.
 
This is one of those reasons I feel a little uncomfortable with the whole idea of these age limits on things, particularly age of consent and age of, you know, accountability for murder and stuff. The whole idea rests on the basis of age being a determinant of maturity and mental capacity.

Of course, as an average and given a long period of time, say the average lifespan, age generally is a factor of maturity and mental abilities to a certain extent. However, drawing a line in the sand and saying everyone below that line is immature and everyone above it is mature is a bit of a broadsword solution that won't be accurate for some or possibly even most cases.

And I agree with Underseer on that last post. I'm against death penalties but I can't help thinking that ending a human's life should be punished more seriously than the current non-lethal punishments provide. Shouldn't murder be, you know, kinda a big deal?
 

cleanupguy

Diabloii.Net Member
You couldn't have said it better, and I will end at that since, if I said anything further, it would sound like a broken record.

IDupedInMyPants said:
This is one of those reasons I feel a little uncomfortable with the whole idea of these age limits on things, particularly age of consent and age of, you know, accountability for murder and stuff. The whole idea rests on the basis of age being a determinant of maturity and mental capacity.

Of course, as an average and given a long period of time, say the average lifespan, age generally is a factor of maturity and mental abilities to a certain extent. However, drawing a line in the sand and saying everyone below that line is immature and everyone above it is mature is a bit of a broadsword solution that won't be accurate for some or possibly even most cases.

And I agree with Underseer on that last post. I'm against death penalties but I can't help thinking that ending a human's life should be punished more seriously than the current non-lethal punishments provide. Shouldn't murder be, you know, kinda a big deal?
 

Agent Orange

Diabloii.Net Member
When I killed a man when I was an 18 then charged me as a minor

*that slap on the wrists actually kind of stings*
:teeth: :teeth:
 

jimmyboy

Diabloii.Net Member
Anakha1 said:
Someone tell me why a guy who's a month and a half shy of being 18 gets tried as a minor for a murder. (btw, in Canada being charged as a youth means not much more than a slap on the wrist... our juvenile justice system is practically impotent, IMO) Is he somehow lacking the ability to understand his crime at an adult capacity because of that 45 days?

It's even more a kick in the face considering that up here under accordance with the law 16 and 17 year olds CAN be tried as adults in cases of murder if a judge deems it so. And yet this one goes in the reverse direction.

Sheesh.
The creature "judge" generally comes down to two school of thoughts. The first believes that only the legislature can make the law, so judges shall follow the law as written into statute to the exact letter. The other school of thought believes that courts can make laws (exceptions) based on the circumstances.

The judge who presided over this case is probably from the first school of thought. His reasoning is that had the legislature wanted to place the cut off for adults at 17 years and 11 months, they would have written it down in the criminal code. So he's sticking to exactly to as what is in the criminal code to define adults... ie, 18 years old.

By the way, this is the U.S. version of explanation. Take it with a grain of salt in Canada.
 

jimmyboy

Diabloii.Net Member
IDupedInMyPants said:
And I agree with Underseer on that last post. I'm against death penalties but I can't help thinking that ending a human's life should be punished more seriously than the current non-lethal punishments provide. Shouldn't murder be, you know, kinda a big deal?
The problem may lie in the plain description of the punishment. 10 years incarciration in a maximum security may sound soft. In reality, if you're not a real tough dude, you're going to get gang ***** in the showers, forced to join prision gangs to survive, force to deal drugs or be some guy's sodomy boy-toy for 10 years. It isn't just a hotel with 3 hot meals a day. Even juvi-hall nowadays can turn into gladiator academies.
 

Anakha1

Banned
Dutchman said:
If convicted he will spend 5 years in prison which while light for murder isn't what I call a slap on the wrist. The judge is within their rights to sentence the maximum without parole so 5 years could be gauranteed.
I consider it a small slap on the wrist. I'm going from the thought of the dead person. I'd be pretty pissed off if someone killed me and only got 6 years. It seems pretty trivial for someone who took a life.
 
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