In my respectful opinion…


    March 17, 2019

    All criminal prosecutions are carried out in the public interest. Although a crime may well have been committed, a prosecutor can, after a reasoned review of all the circumstances, conclude that it would nonetheless not be in the public interest to lay a charge. We see this approach most frequently when alternative measures are applied. In such cases, individuals, arrested for minor crimes and who are first offenders, are notified that they will not be charged. In other instances, charges may not be filed where, for instance, a charge would have been normally instituted by summary conviction but the complaint

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    April 14, 2018

    With these words, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Lawrence (Larry) Nasser to imprisonment for up to 175 years stating it was her “honor and privilege” to do so. Nasser had pled guilty to seven counts of sexual abuse, the victims being young athletes who sought his treatment as physician for the American gymnastics team.


    The sentencing hearing was streamed over the Internet as over 150 alleged victims of Nasser were permitted to address him, many of whom had never been previously identified. While his crimes were despicable and worthy of harsh censure, one must question the wisdom of turning the

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    January 14, 2018

    In the aftermath of the Weinstein affair and other similar scandals, there has been a litany of support for the alleged victims, who are lauded for their courage in speaking out. What is unfortunate, and this has oft been stated, is that the targets of these media-generated campaigns are smeared without any due process. The complainants’ versions of events are not subject to any scrutiny to determine the legitimacy of their allegations. What is further overlooked is a pattern of behavior whereby far too many victims readily seek the attention and favor of individuals in positions of power and prominence,

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  • Sanctifying the Victim

    September 22, 2017

    Too many victims of violent crimes have chosen to put themselves in harm’s way. The case of Daphné Boudreault is a classic example. She chose to embark on an intimate relationship with an apparently mentally unstable man with violent and controlling tendencies. Fearful of his behavior, she unsuccessfully sought police protection in order to return to his apartment to recover some of her personal possessions. Notwithstanding that the police did not accompany her, she nonetheless chose to enter the apartment alone, whereupon she was fatally stabbed.  The police were, in this instance, subject to harsh criticism.

    The police are not

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    January 28, 2017

    Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was a soldier in the U.S. army who divulged a massive amount of classified or sensitive military and diplomatic information to WikiLeaks in 2010. Manning was subsequently arrested, charged, and convicted under provisions of the Espionage Act, and then sentenced to 35 years imprisonment. On January 17, 2017, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence such that Manning will be released on May 17, 2017. Unfortunately, the notion of an executive power to pardon does not exist in Canada.


    Manning was, in the classic sense, a whistleblower, who purportedly hoped that the disclosure of this material

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  • A Preventive Execution

    August 15, 2016

    On Wednesday, August 10, 2016, police sharpshooters shot and killed Aaron Driver as he entered a taxi. In an official statement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) claimed to have received credible information that Mr. Driver was about to commit a terrorist attack. He was “engaged” by the police once he entered the taxi, and was then said to have detonated an explosive device injuring the cab driver. He was then further “engaged” (i.e. shot) prior to detonating a second device. In a press conference, a R.C.M.P. spokeswoman referred to the intervention as “amazing” and “exceptional”.


    The police have

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  • Drone Warfare

    July 3, 2016

    The Obama administration recently permitted a partial lifting of the veil on its secret drone-assisted assassination program. This program targets alleged terrorist leaders in various countries such as Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. There is debate regarding the statistics, but even if one relies on the “official” source, the number of civilians murdered exceeds 100. The administration apparently now, after 6 years of thousands of drone-assisted killing missions, supports revealing this data and favors measures to reduce civilian casualties.


    The U.S. is not at war with the nations where the impugned drone killings are carried out. There is no justification,

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  • Extrajudicial Assassinations

    November 22, 2015

    In the wake of the massacre at the Bataclan club in Paris, the French authorities quickly mobilized to track down those responsible for this act of abject terrorism. However in so doing, they acted without regard for the due process of law. They took siege of an apartment in St-Denis where the principal suspect resided, firing in excess of 5000 projectiles, whereby all 3 occupants were killed.


    Nothing about this operation suggests that the authorities had any intention of apprehending the suspects. Rather, the agents involved shot to kill. The suspects were surrounded but there is no evidence they

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    July 6, 2015

    On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States of America held, in Glossip v. Gross, that the State of Oklahoma’s protocol for the execution of death row inmates was constitutional. The challenge was brought by 3 death row inmates (“petitioners”) in the wake of the “Lockett” execution. Clayton Lockett was executed by lethal injection. The drugs administered to bring about his execution initially failed. Apparently unconscious, he awoke, wrestling against the restraints that had been applied, stating “this shit is fucking with my mind” and “the drugs aren’t working”. The state executioners then lowered the blinds

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    January 15, 2015

    In the wake of the massacre of the journalistic staff of Charlie Hebdo, Western political leaders have ramped up their discourse on the “war on terror”.  Here in Canada and elsewhere, we will most certainly witness the continued expansion of police investigative powers at the expense of democratic rights and liberties.  We can further expect greater military intervention in the Middle East.

    There is no doubt that the Charlie Hebdo massacre was an act of terror.  But how should one define the reality of innocent civilians who die each day as a result of Western bombing missions in the Middle

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