Mar 05, 2015
By Jane Brown
Prime Minister Harper’s life means life bill is receiving criticism from the executive director of the John Howard Society. Catherine Latimer says the current system ensures the most dangerous violent offenders, such as Paul Bernardo, will never be released.
“The provisions now around how those people are released, is very good,” Latimer explains. “And the (release) rate for lifers is very low.”
In agreement is NDP justice critic Francoise Boivin, who says the most dangerous killers are already denied parole and held for life.
Boivin says the Harper government’s proposed bill appears aimed mainly at scoring political points heading into the next election set for October 19th. But the Prime Minister says a new law would make clear that some crimes could be punished by life in prison without parole.
“Heinous crimes; high treason, terrorism, kidnapping sex killings, torture killings, serial killers. We’re looking at the worst of the worst,” Harper confirms.
Benjamin Berger is a criminal law expert at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. He says the government appears to be telling Canadians they’re vulnerable, and the bill would make them safer. Berger says from what he has seen, that’s simply not the case.
Notable Canadian criminal lawyer Clayton Ruby will have more to say about the proposed life means life legislation after the 11am news on the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back.