Saturday, January 16, 2010



I'm tired of watching the latest convicted criminals squirm their ways from the courtroom protected by gaggles of cops or court security.
Let the public and the media get up close and personal. Let the cameras capture every bead of sweat. Let the victims curse them. I guess it wouldn't be proper to spit on them, since that's a legal offence now because of myriad diseases, and a slap or punch wouldn't be proper legally either, but if some jerk who had done harm to my family walked by free until the appeal was finished, I would drop-kick them in the crotch.
And take the punishment with a grim smile.
I'm not talking about "perp" walks where the police tell the media about the movement of an accused and the cameras swarm in. A good idea, even if some suspects manage to hide their face with clothing provided by the cops.
Nope, I'm talking of the Ponzi schemers who run the gauntlet of public and media protected by a half-dozen burly men wearing police or security credentials. Let them fight their way through the crowd armed with the same arrogance that they used to fleece friends, charities and suckers.
Too often today we have judges and police brass who forget or ignore that publicity is one edge of the mighty swords of justice. If names and faces are not concealed from the public, there not only will be the punishment of embarrassment, but more people will know of the criminals and what they have been convicted of doing and may well come forward with new cases.
Since capital punishment is out despite the fact most Canadians want it to be an option for the judge in cases where there is no doubt at all, we have to make punishment for major crimes as onerous as possible. Since public flogging doesn't seem to be an option, let the public at least flog the convicted with abusive words, and there's no need for a security screen to get in the way.
And the sentences should be longer and tougher, but that's an issue for another column, or indeed an attractive plank for a political party in the next election.

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