Many Bail Decisions Put Public at Risk

This blog posting is about the abject failure of our judges to make rational decisions regarding bail and about opiates and gang membership.  You cannot understand what is wrong with our bail system without understanding both opiate addiction and gang life.  BC’s bail system cannot work for gang members or opiate addicts.  And consistently, BC’s courts put citizens at risk by their many disastrous bail decisions.

The Bible tells us, “No man can serve two masters.  For either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”

Gang bangers and opiate addicts serve a higher master, either their gang or their addiction. The courts cannot safely release members of either group without constant and direct daily supervision and have any realistic hope that those individuals will not immediately violate any of their conditions.

Gang bangers will never obey bail conditions.  BC’s courts put citizens at risk by their failure to recognize this fact

BC's courts put citizens at risk, gang members get killed
The Oath

The gang banger has taken a “life or death” oath to a group of individuals who take that oath very seriously.  These individuals are willing to enforce that oath.  Nothing feels more threatening to a gang than a member who might be “going straight”.  Additionally, a lesson must be sent to other gang members.

When I lived in Southern California, I dated a young lady who was a member of a notorious gang down there.  Additionally, I have a few friends who are members of gangs here, a couple of them in prison.  So, I speak from first hand knowledge.  If you don’t choose to believe my analysis, just look at the headlines coming out of Surrey and Langley over the last year.

Gangs bring their members money, fast cars, faster women, respect from the street, and p-o-w-e-r.  When you combine those with the oath of membership and the certainty that the oath will be enforced, you will understand that promises made to a black robe and a gavel are meaningless.

Opiate Addicts will never obey bail conditions

In the last six months, there is a new kid on the block, fentanyl, and this kid is the devil’s spawn.  It is killing hundreds now, but before this epidemic is somehow brought under control it will be killing thousands.

As you read, understand that selling opiates is how gangs like the Hells Angels, United Nations, Devils Army and the Red Scorpions fund their lifestyles.  The most common opiates are heroin and morphine with the heroin addicts outnumbering the morphine addicts some fifty to one.

BC's courts put citizens at risk, Red Scorpions equal deathThe Red Scorpions are the central gang in Vancouver Island’s fentanyl trade

Morphine is some ten times as powerful as heroin.  Fentanyl is approximately eight times as strong as morphine, making it eighty times the strength of heroin.  From a drug dealers viewpoint though, the real beauty of fentanyl is not its “kick”, but that they can obtain it cheaper than either heroin or morphine.

The fact that its high lasts less time than either heroin or morphine makes it even more attractive to drug dealers.  This is because an addict’s need for it increases faster, making the size of the addict’s habit grow faster.  Fentanyl is a cash cow.

When an opiate addict is about to be dope sick or is dope sick, a crime will be committed, it is that simple.

Braiden Rathy and fentanyl

I was surfing the net earlier today and saw a comment by somebody on one of the web sites referring to Braiden Rathy, the accused Nanaimo burglar, as a degenerate.  Braiden Rathy is not a degenerate.  He is a criminal and an opiate addict.  Neither the commentor, nor I, know enough about Braiden Rathy to judge him a degenerate.

BC's courts put citizens at risk, addiction was a choice
An addict still gets a choice and should be held accountable for that choice

Drug addicts are not defined by their addiction anymore than I am defined by being a smoker.  They are defined by their actions.

Addicts can be degenerates as defined by their actions, but so might anybody.  Blair Beaudry, the kidnapper and the individual who tried to shank me is an example.  Another example is Brandon Sequin, the coward who robbed and raped my friend.  Then there is Wyatt Prince, the murderer against whom I testified.  All are degenerates, but not because they do drugs.  They are degenerates because of their behaviors.  They are each defined by their sick mind and by their willingness and even pleasure at hurting others.  Simply put, those sick minds were present before their addiction.

Even with addiction, there is a choice

Braiden Rathy, as do all addicts, made choices that opiate addicts often make, choices that are absolutely predictable.  In the beginning, Rathy made a choice to try opiates.  Then he continued to make that choice until he was addicted.  Typically addiction takes about five continuous days of use.  While some might like to excuse his crimes because of his addictions, they were still choices which he made.  Remember, he always had the option of getting into recovery instead, an option he did not choose.

Everything in a drug addict’s life is interconnected to their addiction.  When the drug that one is addicted to is an opiate, the responses to it are instinctual and so basic as to be almost Pavlovian.

How an opiate addict thinks

BC's courts put citizens at risk, addictive thinking
What opiate addicts think

Everything in the opiate addict’s criminal life is centered around what crime to commit, not around whether to actually commit a crime.  The decisions they make are based on multiple factors.

  • the risk factor of getting caught calculated against the probable swiftness of the police response to it
  • Crown Counsel’s likely zealousness in prosecuting that type of crime
  • the likely severity of the sentence
  • even the probable reaction of the judges to bail

To understand this, you need to understand the physical withdrawal symptoms from opiates.  Withdrawal is absolutely brutal.  You have often heard of an addict “kicking” their habit.  That is not a figurative term.  It is a literal term derived from the fact that an addict without a sufficient level of opiates to maintain themselves will involuntarily kick his or her legs as the drug begins to leach from their bones.

Opiate Withdrawal, a.k.a. being “dope” sick or “down” sick

BC's courts put citizens at risk, addict withdrawing
Going through withdrawal

The severity of withdrawal symptoms is basically dependent on three factors.

  1. the amount of daily opiates an addict has become accustomed to.
  2. how long the individual has been addicted.
  3. the strength of the opiate of choice

The early symptoms of withdrawal are often restlessness, sneezing and a general discomfort.  The late symptoms are excruciating and last longer than seven to eight days.  These are symptoms which every opiate addict fears and which most have experienced for a few days.

  • Painful, involuntary leg flailing
  • Severe abdominal cramping
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea
  • Cold sweats and shivering
  • Extreme nausea
  • Dry heaves (vomiting)

I lived surrounded by the drug environment.

For some fifteen years, I lived in the drug community and interacted with drug addicts and drug dealers alike.  In fact, my roommate for most of those years was an active IV drug user.  I have waited in the car while people have met their dealer.  Sometimes I even dropped them off in an alleyway afterwards.

BC's courts put citizens at risk, addict shooting up
Injecting an opiate

I have been there when the spoons and the needles came out.  I saw them tighten the tie strap around their arm.  Hell, I’ve watched addicts draw the blood back into their rig before they administer the hit to make sure that they don’t have an air bubble.  I’ve been there when the addict couldn’t find a vein and needed somebody to fix him or her in the juggler.

There is not much I haven’t witnessed.  I’ve watched the arguments and witnessed people stealing somebody heroin.  I’ve listened to the threats and seen the violence that ensues.

Once, I was even made an after-the-fact witness to murder.  I’ve seen it all and know of what I speak.  So, when I tell you that understand, “I understand”.

Judges don’t live in or understand the world of gangs and addiction

On the other hand, our judges have sat on benches and listened to sad stories.  They heard lawyers make excuses for clients about how this person or that person came to their addiction.  They’ve heard about broken childhoods and believed promises of reform and recovery put forth by defense lawyers.  Judges are not experienced in addiction or helping an addict.

BC's courts put citizens at risk, cartoon by Hal HannonWith stupidity born of a liberal bent, the judges most often release the addict on bail.  Then when that addict doesn’t appear before the court again for three months, or six months, or for whatever length of time, the judges believe they have done their job.  They choose to believe that the addict tried, made a good run at sobriety, but finally succumbed to addiction.

So with that belief and a defense lawyer ready to attest to it, when that addict appears before that judge again, that judge gives the addict another chance.  He/she releasing the addict on the same conditions, saying that the court hopes the addict makes it all the way this time.

It is so prevalent as to be ritualistic.   Gang members and opiate addicts go into court expecting to be released.

It’s a ritual carried out in BC courtrooms scores of times each day, and it is all bullsh*t.  The truth is that upon walking out of the courtroom the first time, the addict may have done a fix before showing up at their bail or probation supervisor.  If not before, he/she will most certainly do so within a few hours of that appointment.

The truth is that the reason they didn’t appear in court for three months or for six months or for whatever length of time is not because they were going straight and getting clean, but because they were more careful about their crimes and therefore just didn’t get caught for that period of time.

You need to understand, to the addict, when walking out of that courtroom, it isn’t just about what was said to the judge or even about what the addict’s mind wants.  It is about what the addict’s body will allow and what that addict is willing to go through to get clean.

I have yet to meet the opiate addict that didn’t want to get clean.  But I have never met one who got clean solely because a judge made it part of their conditions.

Are you starting to understand yet that something is seriously wrong with the way our courts treat gang members and opiate offenders in British Columbia?

BC's courts put citizens at risk
Canadian Parliament

Here is the reality of what happens in BC versus other provinces to those who are arrested due to drug offences.

As was previously explained, British Columbia has, in the past, consistently reported the highest rate of drug crime. Statistics in 1997 show, however, that with respect to charging drug offenders, the province of British Columbia is more lenient than other provinces…

The Canadian Parliament recognizes the problem. Why can’t BC’s judges?

There are lives at risk

Every time a judge makes a bad decision on bail, that judge puts lives at risk, the lives of our police, your family’s life and your life.  This has to stop.  Judges must begin to understand that their decisions have consequences.  Judges can no longer release opiate addicts, gang members, and for that matter, those who have violated previous release conditions, or those who have any violence in their history.

BC's courts put citizens at risk as well as police
Moncton RCMP Funeral

The courts need to stop making the job of police an impossible job.  Bail was designed for those individuals who were likely to not re-offend upon release.  It is not for those individuals whose very lifestyle and affiliations create a risk.  In other words, bail is meant for the “few”, not for the “many”.


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About Hal 171 Articles
Ex-golf inventor, Ex-stockbroker, author, blogger, social activist, drug counselor, public speaker

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