What is it going to take to fix our broken justice system? When it is not the courts doing “catch and release” of drug dealers, it is the Correctional Service of Canada. It uses a complex and convoluted evaluation system based on points to determine the security level of the prison at which a convicted criminal will serve out some portion of his sentence. It amounts to just another hole in our justice system. And it is one of the reasons why criminals laugh at it.
Let’s Look At A Specific Case In The News Now
I am talking here about a career criminal with some fifty prior convictions for drug and property offences. Previously, he had been sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty to robbing or attempting to rob ten Lower Mainland banks from Aldergrove to North Vancouver.
The Opinions of Sentencing Judge William MacDonald
I am talking here about 35 year old career criminal [at that time]. This is a scum whom Judge William MacDonald of the Surrey Provincial Court noted was a long-time drug addict. The judge said the guy had been doing crack since he was 18. Then the judge added, “a horrendous criminal record for a man of his age”.
I am talking about Shawn William Merrick.
Judge MacDonald, in handing down his sentence made this comment. “He is in my view a seasoned criminal.”
Judge MacDonald further commented that protection of the public must take priority. Accordingly, Judge MacDonald gave Merrick 22 months credit for time he had been in jail since his arrest. Then he handed him a further six-year stint in prison.
Judge MacDonald even went on to say that Merrick’s chances of being rehabilitated were slim. He noted that past efforts at rehab had failed. He added, that Merrick had been kicked out of one treatment centre because of his poor attitude.
These Robbery Convictions Were Prior To Merrick Having Been Found To Have Committed A “Brutal” Murder.
In July 2007 after the body of Shelley Lynn DeVoe, a 44-year-old Whalley mother of two, was found. It was discarded alongside Harper Road on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam on Sept. 22. Merrick was convicted of that murder on February 6, 2008 [while still serving time on the robbery convictions]. He was then given an Indeterminate Sentence.
In Describing Merrick After His Escape On March 31, 2015, RCMP Pointed Out The Following
Merrick has multiple tattoos which include skulls on his left upper arm. He has a heart with the name “Jade” on his right upper back. Also he has a dragon on his right upper arm and a skull on the left side of his chest.
Our Justice System Allows Drug Use In Prison
It was also mentioned that Merrick had sores on his right forearm and neck. Folks, having spent some fifteen years on the street, I can tell you that sores, if you live in a relatively clean environment which a prison most certainly should be and probably is, and if you are a drug addict which Merrick is, are signs of drug use.
The sores form from bacteria around drug injection sites. The sores on the neck are especially indicative of drug use. This is because one’s neck seldom comes in contact with many physical objects within the environment, even if that environment is less than clean.
Merrick’s Escape Is Outrageous and shows one of the holes in our justice system.
The courts got it right. Instead of “catch and release”, they finally incarcerated a man and give him a meaningful sentence. But then the Correctional Service of Canada bollixes the job. They actually put Merrick in a minimum security prison. This is a known career criminal. He was convicted of beating and killing a woman. Also, he was convicted of ten bank robberies. Additionally, he had forty other charges. Then, in his minimum security prison, then sat idly by as he did intravenous drugs.
What happened to maximum security for a violent offender?
How could a convict have an active drug addiction in prison?
Would not the fact that a convict had an active drug addiction disqualify him for minimum security if his violent history did not?
This Is The 2nd Time In Less Than A Year That Our Justice System Has Allowed A Murderer And Prolific Offender To Escape From A Minimum Security Prison.
Norman Riel escaped August 26, 2014. He was serving an Indeterminate Sentence for second-degree murder. Riel hasn’t been seen since.
Look At Riel’s Record & Realize That He Is Still Out There.
He was serving a life sentence for the second-degree murder of Patrick Pugh.
Pugh was shot in the head during a home invasion at his east Vancouver penthouse in September 1994.
Riel was arrested following an undercover operation in Las Vegas in early 1995 and was convicted of the murder three years later.
Riel’s record includes various weapons charges and uttering threats. At the time of his arrest, he was living off the avails of prostitution. [He’s a career criminal, a pimp, a bully and a murderer and he was in minimum security.]
The Real Problem Is Not The Low Security Level Of The Prison. But Instead, The System That Allows Violent Career Criminals And Murderers To Be Put In A Minimum Security Prison.
The Correctional Service of Canada says it is going to investigate how these two escaped. I can save them all that money for an investigation. I can tell them how they escaped. They escaped because the jailers sent a boy to do a man’s job.
They escaped because they were not incarcerated in a more secure facility. They escaped because our justice system prefers to give the benefit of the doubt when there is no doubt.
“The Best Predictor Of Future Behavior Is Past Behavior”
They escaped because the Correctional Service of Canada has some idiotic idea that it can evaluate ‘risk” by a point system. It refuses the common sense approach of looking at the individuals’ record. And if it claims it did look, then it obviously had the wrong person looking.
What does the Correctional Service of Canada think is going to happen when you place such individuals in a minimum security prison? Ask your ten year old kid what is going to happen when you put a high risk, career criminal into a minimum security prison. I assure you that he will give you correct answer.
When The Courts Get It Right, The Prison System Fails Us
The courts need to stop putting every drug defendant back on the streets. And the prison system needs to realize that violent, high risk, career criminals are going to probe and investigate the level of security. Then they will try to escape if they find a hole.
This is not rocket science. The courts and people like Mayor Stew Young of Gangford are responsible for the multitude of drug dealers running free on the lower island. And the prison system is responsible for the fact that they escape. Consequently, you cannot feel safe as there exist a guaranteed failure rate.
If I Was A Cop, I’d Throw Up My Hands In Frustration. I’d Wonder Why I Arrest Criminals.
Maybe I don’t like getting a traffic ticket of some nature, but I can tell you this. Those cops who are out there arresting gangsters and hunting down these two escapees are suddenly my best friends. They’re my best friends because I find myself needing them. Each one of you needs them too, whether you realize it or not.
The Justice System Is Broken.
The insanity in our justice system needs to stop. Judges need to stop relying on “Legal Precedent“. Also, the Correctional Service of Canada needs to actually start evaluating the convicts. It cannot rely on a point system that obviously doesn’t work. From my perspective, the cops are the only ones actually doing their jobs.
According to the Union of Canadian Correctional Workers, as of August 2014, when speaking about Mission Institution, a minimum security prison, some 42% of inmates were convicted killers. In a minimum security prison, the perimeter of the institution will be clearly defined but not normally directly controlled. [This is where they keep murderers and other repeat, violent offenders. Are you kidding me?]
A Special Warning To You
These situations are only going to get worse until the systems are corrected. Sadly, they will not be corrected until you raise your voices loud enough to be heard. Sir Edmund Burke said it best, “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.“
Don’t be a good man doing nothing.