Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And justice for all . . . to not see

No one will ever accuse me of being a defender of the Hells Angels. In point of fact, I am on record on many occasions saying that police must be given more tools and more resources to fight not only the bikers, but all aspects of organized crime. Which, I might add, notwithstanding the abdication of responsibility by Madame Justice Anne MacKenzie in the trial of full-patch member David Francis Giles, the Hells Angels are clearly a criminal organization as has been stated by courts in BC and Ontario in previous decisions.

Having said all that, there is something decidedly wrong with what has occurred in the sentencing of three unnamed members of the biker gang for contempt of court.

I don't know what has gone on in camera in this case in which Madame Justice MacKenzie agreed to a ban on publication of the names. And that is essentially the problem. The old adage is that Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.

How can we determine if justice was in fact done in this case if we cannot know the names and the details of the offense? Justice carried out behind a curtain is not justice in a democracy. It may pass for justice in a tin-pot dictatorship like Cuba, but it is not justice in my eyes.

Madame Justice MacKenzie demonstrated a profound lack of understanding of the Hells Angels and how their business operates in her judgement in Giles case. That lack of understanding is, in my view, a disservice to the public. The contempt citations against unnamed individuals who were allegedly a part of the criminal enterprise is nothing more than a furtherance of the disservice.

Leo Knight

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

When were the Hells Angels deemed in court in B.C. to be a criminal organization as you stated?

Anonymous said...

I don't think any BC court has declared the Hells Angels a criminal organization. Courts in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick have but not here.

The HA have it quite cushy here.....

Leo Knight said...

While I would certainly never argue with the statement that the HA have it easy in BC, there was actually a court case from Vancouver Island several years ago where the court made that finding. Unfortunately it occurred before the current legislation was enacted.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of current legislation; the anti gang legislation was enacted by the Federal Government and in effect across Canada. Moreover several other provinces have found that the HA are a criminal organization in court decisions.

So what is the problem with judges in BC? They often cite previous similar fact cases for their decisions EXCEPT when it comes to the HA. What gives???

Leo Knight said...

Surely you are not suggesting a lack of testicular fortitude among the learned judges in BC? Surely not . . .

Anonymous said...

Well besides the lack of testicular fortitude; I was once told by a full patch East End member that an unspecified lawyer works for them for free because of an ounce of coke, 2 hookers, and a video camera. I don't know if there is any truth to the previous statement but thats what I was told.

Sometimes in more cynical moments I have to wonder.

For example only in BC can one possess 30 grams of pot and it be called personal use.

The "two liar defense" is alive and well for impaired charges. Meanwhile scientific data from a BTA is routinely dismissed.

A male, charged in a gang related killing outside a LMD nightclub, was released on a recognizance and strict conditions. This male was later arrested in possession of 1 kilogram of cocaine, a handgun, AND a written note from his P.O stating he could be out after curfew.

So once again...What gives???

Anonymous said...

30 grams is personal use-even in Alberta.

Anonymous said...

"30 grams is personal use even in Alberta"

Really? I wouldn't have guessed that was the case. I have a female co-worker who was posted to Manitoba straight from Depot. She has told me that one joint can land a conviction for possession in Manitoba.

I thought that was the case throughout prairies especially for Alberta.

Anonymous said...

I'm referring to the practice of charging anyone with any amount of weed with poss for trafficking in order to get photos and fingerprints and then reducing the charge to simple poss at court.