This is what happens when governments make decisions based on emotion and virtue-signalling rather than common-sense.
The Trudeau government has announced changes to the justice system, partly in response to the fact that they think the jury in the Gerald Stanley trial came to the ‘wrong’ verdict.
Of course, governments shouldn’t be making changes to get different jury verdicts, but the Trudeau Liberals are acting based on emotion and a need to virtue-signal by showing that they’re doing ‘something.’
So here we are.
Unsurprisingly, it seems the proposed changes will make things worse.
According to a recent report, “Defence lawyers are sounding the alarm about sweeping changes to the criminal justice system unveiled Thursday by the Liberal government, warning the proposals will further stack the deck against those accused of a crime while doing little to promote a more equitable justice system.”
The bill removes the ability of lawyers to remove jurors without giving a reason – what are called ‘peremptory challenges.’ Peremptory challenges have been blamed by some on the radical left for Gerald Stanley being found not guilty in the death of Colton Boushie.
The Liberals say removing ‘peremptory challenges’ will make juries more diverse, but experts are saying it will have the opposite impact.
“Some defence lawyers tell CBC News they actually use these challenges to make juries more diverse — by challenging some would-be white jurors — to ensure a fairer trial for visible minority clients.”
So, the same thing that the Liberals claim makes the system unfair for indigenous and visible minorities has also been used by lawyers to try and make the system more fair indigenous people and visible minorities.
Personally, I don’t think that because someone is white, or brown, or indigenous that they are somehow unable to be a fair juror for someone of a different background. People of all backgrounds are capable of studying evidence and reaching a fair conclusion. That said, the Liberals have rushed to make changes that are taking a part of the system few people were complaining about, and throwing it into the garbage – with serious potential consequences.
This shows why messing with the justice system for political reasons is so dangerous. In the case of the Gerald Stanley verdict, his lawyer used peremptory challenges in the way that was seen as best helping his client – which is exactly what a lawyer should do.
In other cases, lawyers use peremptory challenges to – from their perspective – protect minority clients – again, exactly what a lawyer is supposed to do.
The lesson of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” was apparently never learned by this government.
By messing with this system for political reasons, the Trudeau Liberals appear to be making things worse for everybody. After all, getting rid of peremptory challenges only makes sense if we somehow assume that racism is rampant in Canada – when common-sense people know that it’s not.
Of course, Trudeau and the Liberals seem determined to see Canadians as racist, so screwing with the justice system makes sense from their twisted perspective.
Defence Lawyer Solomon Friedman pointed out that this whole thing is about politics in the wake of the Boushie trial:
“This one case is going to strip away peremptory challenges, and it’s only because of the [Boushie] backlash, which should tell you how crassly political this whole bill is,” Solomon Friedman, a prominent Ottawa-based defence lawyer, said in an interview with CBC News. “The fact that this bill was pushed out in the afternoon before a long weekend, when Parliament is going to rise for two weeks, tells you how ashamed the government really is of this bill.”
Friedman said he used peremptory challenges to ensure a more “representative” jury, adding that because of the new Liberal legislation, “that is now gone. We cannot do that now.”
Reducing the rights of the accused
Concerns have also been expressed about the elimination of preliminary inquiries in all cases except where a life sentence is possible.
The government claims it will speed up the justice system, yet it could create serious problems:
“But Solomon said doing away with the inquiries — held to determine if there is enough evidence for an individual to be tried on their charges — is fundamentally unfair to people accused of a crime. “It’s long been a part of the English common law that people shouldn’t be in jeopardy in front of a judge or a judge and jury unless there’s sufficient evidence. That’s what the preliminary inquiry does, it screens it out,” he said. “It also allows you to meaningful test the Crown’s evidence, to narrow the issues, to have a preview of how witnesses will testify. That’s all going to be gone.”‘
The Trudeau government is now making it easier for the state to bring charges against someone – on potentially weaker evidence than before. That should be a serious concern to all Canadians who are worried about the growth of state power under Trudeau.
Also, note what the government isn’t doing: Toughening punishments for those who are actually convicted of serious crimes.
If you ask most Canadians what’s wrong with wrong with our justice system, they would say it’s the weak sentences for convicted criminals.
Yet the Trudeau government is doing nothing about that, instead they are politicizing the jury selection process in a dangerous way, and removing the rights of people accused – and therefore still presumed innocent – of a crime.
It’s a huge failure, and it shows the danger of a government so desperate to ‘do something’ when they screw up a complex system and make it even worse than before.
Photo – YouTube