Legal wrangling

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It’s takne a while but I finally have the page for Bishop Hubert O’Connor omi together.  I think there is enough reading there to keep those with a keen interst in legal wrangling and shenanigans busy over the weekend.  After 7 years of all of this legal shenanigans O’Connor essetnailly ‘walked.”  The charges had been methodcially whittled down to one and a third trial on that single charge of rape was ordered.  The Crown decided not to proceed – I get the impression from media accounts that by then the victims had had enough. I am sure they had.

Those familiar with Cornwall and the sex absue trial of married laweyer and Church Canon Lawyer Jacques Leduc will be interested to see that the nub of the intial arguments was the failure of the Crown to disclose.  In that instance Crown Shelley Hallett was hung out to dry.  It was the end of Hallett’s career.  Rest assured there was much that Hallett did and said with which I did not agree, but she did not deserve the knife in the back she got from police officers and defence lawyers.

So, I now read that a Crown was accused of shoddy work and failure to disclose  in the O’Connor trial and in all honesty I wonder if that is fact or, if in fact she was set up? It sounds like shoddy work, but…????? I would like to know more of what transpired int he courtroom – and behind closed doors utsdie the courtroom

Anyway, the O’Connor went. to meet his Maker with no formal conviction on his earthly slate. 

I wonder how much it cost the Oblates to mount that defence?  It had to be a small fortune.  Even appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada!!!

Disgusting really.  Disgusting.

Note that also teaching at the residential school near Williams Lake, British Columbia where O’Connor was Principal were Father Harold McIntee omi and Oblate Brother Glenn Doughty.  Both were charged and convicted!  All three were molesting those children.  Correction.  I suppose can not legally say that O’Connor was molesting, but he certainly managed to impregnate a young girl and father a child! 

No one knew?

I suppose too that we couldn’t expect either Doughty or McIntee to say a boo, could we?  If they knew, or suspected, they weren’t about to tattle.  And I suppose in turn that if O’Connor knew or suspected what the par of them were up to he wasn;t about to haul them on the carpet, was he?

Those poor children.

And O’Connor was installed as Bishop of Whitehorse in 1971!

*****

I had an email from a friend drawing my attention to a comment that I made yesterday re Bishop Raymond Lahey :”Remember that every day Lahey sits behind bars right now will probably earn him 2:1 credit!”

My friend attached an article showing that legislation which came into effect in February 2010 limits the credit for time served to 1:1. A judge can award 1.5:1 in extenuating circumstances.   I will attach the article below.

A good reminder.  I was unsure if the legislation had been enacted and had not taken the time to check.  However, I still have difficulty believing that Bishop Lahey wanted to go to jail early without the possibility of something in return. 

Perhaps 1.5:1?  Or, perhaps the arguments oft used by those who have served time in the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre and argue that the deplorable conditions warrant as much as 3:1 for time served?

We shall see…

Meanwhile, here to set the record straight is the article from the 23 February 2010 Ottawa Sun, and a reminder that the door has been partially closed on those who seek credit for time served in pre-sentence custody:

  Ottawa Sun

23 February 2010

Canadians convicted of crimes will no longer be eligible for double or triple credit for time served in pre-sentence custody, under new legislation that came into effect Tuesday.

Bill C-25 limits the amount of credit for time served at a one-for-one ratio, meaning that individuals are only to be given one day of credit for each day they spend in custody prior to sentencing.

Judges can award a credit ratio of 1.5-for-one under extenuating circumstances, such as a trial being delayed through no fault of the accused. A reason for the extra credit must be entered into the court record.

However, the legislation also stipulates that judges are not allowed to consider extra credit for time served for offenders who have violated bail conditioners, or who have been denied bail based on their criminal record.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Tuesday that the need for such a bill has risen over the last 20 years, as convicted criminals began to receive double and sometimes triple credit for time served.

“This was undermining people’s confidence in the criminal justice system,” Nicholson told CTV News Channel. “And we were only too happy to respond to that by bringing in what we call the Truth in Sentencing Act, which says that the normal procedure now will be one-for-one credit.”

According to Nicholson, the bill is also a response to complaints by provincial attorneys general, who have told him about cases where suspects request they not have a bail hearing in order to spend more time in custody and “rack up credits.”

“This doesn’t do the system any good at all, and provincial attorneys general have been unanimous in telling me that this is helping to clog up the system,” Nicholson said. “This means the provincial resources and provincial facilities are all being taxed unnecessarily by people who are delaying the disposition of their case. So again, we were pleased to respond to that.”

Alison Redford, Alberta’s justice minister and attorney general, was among a number of provincial justice ministers to support the legislation.

“Sentences must reflect the seriousness of the crime, and the damage inflicted upon victims and communities,” Redford said in a statement.

Will there be arguments that the delay in sentencing constitutes “extenuating circumstances”?  And what of the deplorable conditions which Bishop Lahey is enduring right now at the OCDC? (Perry could tell us all about that)  But, can/will those deplorable conditions at OCDC count for more than 1.5:1 on Lahey’s child porn sentencing ? 

As I say, we shall see…..

For now, Bishop Lahey is nestled away in the OCDC until his next court appearance 24 June 2011:

27 May 2011: Date for sentencing arguments set for bishop caught with child pornography

And then – how long, how long until his actual sentencing hearing?  Another month?  Maybe more?

Lahey asked to go to jail 04 May 2011.  That was on the heels of his guilty plea.  Nearly 20 months after he was charged he entered a guilty plea – to somewhat whittled down charges mind you, but, still, 20 months later, a guilty plea.  And then our  errant and disgraced bishop was actually keen to get into jail right then and there. 

Passing strange?  I think so.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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