Societies are not judged by how they treat the powerful but rather how they treat the most vulnerable, and the manner in which those who abuse and victimize the most vulnerable are dealt with when they are charged and convicted.
Graham James is the poster boy for what is wrong with our criminal justice system.
James was sentenced to two years in custody for repeated sexual assaults committed against Theo Fleury and Todd Holt. The sentences are concurrent, not consecutive.
What does that mean in terms of when James is eligible to apply for parole and be back out on the street again?
James can apply for day parole in 6 months. If granted he could hit the streets in September of 2012.
He is eligible for full parole after serving one-third of his sentence - if granted that would be in November 2012.
If James is denied parole he will be eligible for statutory release after having served two-thirds of his sentence – July of 2013.
So that is how we treat those who abuse the vulnerable.
“That’ll teach ‘em”. Or not. Perhaps more victims will come forward and we can make this an annual event.
On a last note, before the politicians start wringing their hands and bemoaning what happened here they should have a look in the mirror. They are the only ones with the power to make change. If they are not prepared to do so, they should step aside and make room for someone who can, and will, do the right thing.
UPDATE February 15 2013
The Manitoba Court of Appeal increased James’ sentence from 2 years to 5 years.