Judge Praises Killer for Representing Himself

“Our justice system is FUCKED! The puke that MURDERED my cousin in #yeg commended by judge for representing himself…wow” – Shane (via Twitter) June 21, 2012

A 19-year-old killer was given a pat-on-the-back from a Provincial Court Justice during trial this week in the latest example of a ‘coddle the offender’ agenda plaguing our farcically named Justice system.

The adult, who enjoys the anonymity shield that goes with committing a crime while under the age of 18, made the rare and universally condemned choice to represent himself.  As Provincial Court Judge Janet Franklin softened the conviction from the charge of second-degree murder into the lesser charge of manslaughter, she praised the criminal:

“I have to say, when I began this trial and heard you were representing yourself as a 19-year-old against this serious charge, I was concerned,” she said. “Any person in your circumstances could not have represented themselves more appropriately. You were engaged by the facts and engaged by the law.”

She then gave the murderer a big hug, a kiss on the cheek, and introduced him to her daughter.  Not really, but given the facts it does sound plausible, no?

Shane’s reaction, although unique in its tone considering the source, is more than understandable coming from a member of the victim’s family.  Circumstances are but window dressing to the facts of a case.  Issues such as location of the crime, the age or race of the victim, or a defendant choosing not to take advantage of professional legal representation are subplots to the main crime. 

A man is dead, the killer stood before a judge to answer for his crime, and once again the result was little more than a helping of injustice for loved ones left behind.

When the facts are presented, like say, arriving at a ‘buy’ with a loaded weapon, the unwise legal decisions of a defendant sorely lacking in life experience but more than capable of partaking in murder are not to be praised.

Why the hell was he allowed to defend himself in the first place?  At 19 he can legally do so, yet because his crime occurred when he was 17 his identity is sheltered. 

The Justice system has long been known to have a backlog of hospital-wait-time proportions.  The fact that society must wait until next spring even for the preliminary trial to take place for a mass-murderer like Luka Magnotta is unacceptable.

When the families of the victims of such heinous crimes finally have their turn to witness justice being done, they sit in the courtroom and listen to a Justice of the law pat the head of a person responsible for the death of their flesh and blood.

In this case, a killer saw the potential of a second-degree murder charge downgraded to manslaughter, and the family of Jesse Lee James lost their opportunity for justice.


Werner Patels said...

Another one for the "judges becoming dumber and dumber" category.

Western Boater said...

I think this is a deeper issue than a stupid judge or even a stupid justice system. And it is stupid. Look at the money spent on criminals and then look at the money spent on victims. A criminal will get considerable support, even an education. A victim can expect nothing, no compensation, and certainly no help with their education expenses.

But the reason is I suspect one of accountability. Who answers to who.

Our system was set up as a democracy but it has been gamed. Sure people still vote but people are stupid and easily manipulated. Elections rarely give any real choice, and never address fundamental issues.

As a result our systems do not answer to us the citizens.

I'm not sure they should but I'm sure they do not and this story is one very clear example of that.

His Name Was Steven