Monday, May 16, 2011

Rape!..."I was drunk and I didn't know what I was doing" - Outrageous

Superior Court Justice Terrence Patterson struck down a federal law prohibiting an excessive intoxication defense in cases of sexual assault. "I didn't know what I was doing, I was too drunk" is now a valid excuse in rape cases thanks to this judge. This is absolutely outrageous! How is this ruling defending the safety of the public? How is this serving the public? Are judges not public servants? In what way are they contributing to the betterment of our country when overturning a law such as this?
The Charter of Rights was an amendment to the Constitution and the intention of this amendment was to protect the citizens of the country from harm by other citizens, the government, and the abuse of authority.  In this case the judge has used the Charter to jeopardize the safety of the public and the personal rights of women to live in peace and safety in their communities. When did the legal system abandon it's purpose? When did it abandon common sense? Our country needs massive legal reform. Judges are accountable to no one. Once they're appointed, they are answerable to no one.

All civil servants should be answerable to the people, just as politicians are. A judge is a public servant and is therefore supposed to serve the public.  It's time we elected our judges. When a judge makes a radical decision such as this the average Canadian is left wondering what is happening in a  Judge's personal life when he makes a ruling in favor of a rapist.


Converso said...

With respect, the last post here, the one about the judge who issued reasons in case before him that contained some very ill- advised language, is quite weak in comparison to the others I have read. My guess is that you have not yet read widely on the Canadian legal system, and have yet to think the issues through.

I base my guess on your way of introducing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as an amendment to the constitution. Although it may seem an unimportant distinction, to be mere hair-splitting, perhaps, that the Charter was not an amendment the Canadian Constitution (as, in form, the American Bill of Rights is) but is the first section of the Constitution Act, 1982. That act also adopted the full text of the BNA Act 1867 for its second section, referred to as the Canada Act. My point here is that there are historical reasons why the judge in Canada is not elected, all of which require careful consideration before a decision to change that fact is made.
Incidentally, the judges of the American federal courts are not elected but are appointed by the executive branch subject to legislative confirmation. Which judges would have elected? S. 96 court judges? Provincial judges?

I think you write well, so you need not be insulted, but I have to say that while the contraction of the verb "to be" in 3rd person takes an apostrophe, the possessive form of the pronoun "it" does not.
Rob Edwards

Sensible Discussion said...

Thanks for the comment, Converso. I can see you're a person who pays attention to detail. I stand corrected regarding my reference to the Charter being an amendment. It is an add-on to the Old Constitution (B.N.A. Act). This does not change the argument, that the Charter was written to protect the rights of Canadians within our society not to be used to set dangerous criminals free based on technicalities.

Regarding judges being elected, what I'm suggesting is that this is one way to reform a broken system where some judges pay little heed to the spirit and intention of the law. They see the law only through legalistic eyes and ignore the bigger picture.

Anonymous said...

Sign the petition that states that being drunk IS NOT an excuse for rape

sensible discussion said...

Good idea!