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What our criminal justice system needs is not mere fixes that further entrench the status quo and the adversarial, punishment-oriented and individualistic process we have now, but true transformational change.
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We love to pat ourselves on the back up here in Canada and tell the world how progressive are we, but can we even claim to be progressive when we are, by definition of the United Nations, torturing our own citizens?
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There is a violent offender on the loose in Winnipeg -- and police are powerless to do anything about it. This individual has plagued the police and the community for years. He has not faced any consequences for his behaviour. Why? Because he is a 10-year-old boy, and under the law, he is too young to be charged.
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A report prepared for the Justice Department says "a politically viable strategy'' is to craft exemptions to mandatory minimums that kick in when certain criteria are met.
I am thankful to Mandi Gray. It takes immense bravery to report sexual assault and endure an 18-month trial. Especially when confronting a system that regularly fails women. We have a system that was built broken and does not support survivors of sexual assault.
The news broke earlier this week that Karla Homolka has been living in the Quebec community under the name Leanne Bordelais with her three school-age children. Parents from the community are outraged, and perhaps understandably so.
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A landmark case that dominated news and talk shows worldwide, the O.J. trial has been resuscitated by FX's biographical crime drama "American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ" to rave reviews. The series, which has been praised for its critical look at the most beloved "Trial of the Century," opens a Pandora's box of tidbits, either long-forgotten or unknown to most viewers.
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As feminists, we must realize we cannot have it both ways; we can't fight for our own to achieve equality and success, but then criticize them once they have found it. Furthermore, we cannot hold women to an invisible standard not outlined for anyone else. After all, would we reprimand a male lawyer who is also a father for defending an alleged child molester? I doubt it.
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In Canada, we firmly believe in the presumption of innocence as it is a fundamental human right and indispensable for preventing wrongful convictions and upholding justice. However, it is the time to acknowledge that if our criminal justice system does not adapt itself to the reality of cases like the Ghomeshi trial, its legitimacy will be undermined in the eyes of Canadians. Our justice system gains its legitimacy by being effective and fair; and fairness needs to extend to both survivors and offenders.
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No one will ever know whether Ghomeshi would have been convicted had his accusers been more honest and candid. All we can say is that the Crown's case would have been far stronger. Knowing that they will be judged in light of such "rape myths," it may seem sensible -- even obvious -- to a great many complainants that certain pieces of information should be managed so that they conform to the stereotype.
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The reality is that in Toronto, as in most police services across the continent, the vast majority of serving police officers are exceptional public servants. The bad news is that reality is entirely irrelevant. People don't form judgments or base their decisions and actions on reality. They base them on their perceptions. And a fast-growing segment of society in Toronto, in Chicago, in New York City, in Ferguson, in cities and towns across North America, perceive their police services to be acting for their own benefit -- not society's.
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The current system has tremendous shortcomings -- it abandons victims, leaving them to heal alone, at times powerless, and without any meaningful answers. There is a better way to help victims heal and to hold offenders accountable for their acts while empowering them to improve their lives. That alternative is restorative justice.
In a moment of boredom, two teens in Lanark County, Ont., smash their way into a hardware store and help themselves to the goods. Police nabbed the pair soon after. But instead of going before judge and jury, the teens faced their victims in a citizen-run "restorative justice" forum. It's an approach that's gaining popularity across Canada, showing there's more than one way to be tough on crime.
There has been considerable media coverage regarding two patients who did not return from off unit privileges on January 22, 2015 at the Mental Health and the Law Service of the North Bay Regional Health Centre. The authorities do a disservice to the public by not telling us what 'conflict with the law' makes them dangerous, which creates more danger for the public at large.