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Passive support of the death penalty by Harper, Day and the Cons.

Canada is not allowed to deport people convicted of the death penalty in other countries without first getting legal assurances from said country that the death penalty will not be sought. That was a decision brought down by the Supreme Court of Canada – a decision I am sure the Harpercons absolutely detest in their attempts to come across as the law and order party.

That hasn’t stopped them from trying to show people how macho they are however – Stockwell Day announced last November that Canada would no longer seek clemency for Canadians convicted and given the death penalty in countries deemed to have “the rule of law” in place. Setting aside once again the problems that will occur on how Canada intends to define that, we now find out they’ve gone even further then that – it appears in the case of a Canadian convicted of the death penalty in Montana, they were offered a deal for clemency and a return of the Canadian to serve time in Canada – but it was turned down by the Canadian government:

“the Governor of Montana indicated to our Consul General that they were willing to consider commuting Mr. Smith’s sentence so he could be transferred back to Canada, but that they would want some type of guarantee that he would spend at least five years in prison in Canada should a transfer occur.” The revelation is contained in briefing notes prepared in November for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and released on Friday after an Access to Information request by Canwest News Service. The Nicholson backgrounder is the strongest indication yet that Canada’s efforts to win clemency for Smith were long-standing, resolute and progressing well until the Conservative government abruptly called off the push by its U.S.-based diplomats to fight for Smith’s life.

As Quito says at his site, we basically have enforced the death penalty, not through inaction, but direct action in refusing very reasonable terms offered by Montana – they commute the death penalty, we guarantee he’ll stay in prison for a minimum amount, which could probably be set higher if the Canadian government felt it was warranted.

Smith may not be a role model, but he is an example of Canadians in other countries being abandoned by their government in order to show how “tough” they are, and to hint to their base how they’d love to have capital punishment here or deport people to get fried if they were allowed. Omar Khadr is another example of this, and Brenda Martin would have been another but for the resulting uproar that forced the Conservatives to act, and only after it took a couple of tries.

Note that it took an Access to Information Request to find this refusal of Montana’s offer out. The government was not forthcoming with the public or the opposition parties in QP over this.

I’m outraged that this has occurred, but not surprised with this Harpercons bunch.

14 comments to Passive support of the death penalty by Harper, Day and the Cons.

  • Gayle

    “Yes, I know the cost issues. That wasn’t the issue.”

    Why did you raise costs if it is not the issue?

  • Gayle

    No – the news reports say that he would be transferred to Canada and would not be eligible for parole before 5 years have passed.

    The sentence for murder in Canada is life.

  • dudleysharp

    The news stories say precisely what I quoted, transferred to Canada with at least 5 years imprisonment.

    No US Governor would agree to that.

    Therefore, it is either misreporting and/or reporting a fantasy.

    Yes, I know the cost issues. That wasn’t the issue. It was the absurd story.

  • Gayle

    For all his great credentials, Mr. Sharp seems to be missing a few basic facts.

    “No US governor is amoral enough or stupid enough to consider only a five year sentence for a double murderer who is currently facing the death penalty for the same crimes.”

    The sentence is life. The man has already served a considerable period of time in custody. The governor appears to be demanding no parole be granted for at least an additional 5 years once Smith gets to Canada.

    It is not a 5 year sentence. For that matter, it is not a guarantee he would even get parole in 5 years. He would still have to earn his parole.

    “I bet Canada is spending more time and money on this murderous Canadian than they do on an average innocent violent crime victim in Canada.”

    Like the US, Canada has always spent more on investigating, prosecuting and punishing criminals than it has ever spent on assisting the victims of crime.

    Since it apparently costs more to execute a man than it does to keep him in prison for a lifetime, I would think you would know that.

  • dudleysharp

    It is claimed that “Montana’s governor told a top Canadian consular official last year that he was willing to consider commuting the death sentence of Alberta-born killer Ronald Smith — the only Canadian on death row in the U.S. — and transfer him to a Canadian prison if Canada would guarantee he’d be kept behind bars for at least five years.”

    Ridiculous.

    “Willing to consider” is not close to a potential deal or a real deal – it means zero.

    No US governor is amoral enough or stupid enough to consider only a five year sentence for a double murderer who is currently facing the death penalty for the same crimes.

    Any Canadian who thinks that was even close to a deal also believes that Canada is “willing to consider” giving their oil fields to the US.

    Thomas Running Rabbit and Harvey Mad Man were the two good samaritans who assisted Smith in August 1982.

    Smith wanted to steal their car, presenting Smith with another one of his desires: “to find out what it would be like to kill somebody.”

    He murdered them both.

    To all those trying their best to save Smith, spending lots of Canadian time and money, how about a fund raiser for the families of Thomas Running Rabbit and Harvey Mad Man?

    I bet Canada is spending more time and money on this murderous Canadian than they do on an average innocent violent crime victim in Canada.

    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
    e-mail [email protected], 713-622-5491,
    Houston, Texas

    Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

    A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

  • Colin

    Geez Mike you went and lost the arguement in your last statement…

    And you were doing so well.

    Omar Khadr was wielding weapons in a war zone on behalf of the other side. Its his own damn fault for participating in a war on the losing side. Evidence will come out that he was complicit in killing several US soldiers.

    Lets also not confuse age of consent for sex with taking up weapons in a war zone thats a red herring.

    We could have a repatriation day for Omar but Im not sure his life expectancy would be much above a week in Canada. Maybe downtown Toronto where the population is oxygen deprived due to pollution…

    As for your murderous friend in Montana they can pay to house him there or kill him, makes no difference to me. Im not willing to foot the bill for him to live out his days in a cushy Canadian jail and Im certainly not willing to accept the risk that the parole board would let him go.

    So, can the insults and act like a grown up, not everyone agrees with you.

  • “As for Khadr, Chretien got burned by the old man when he lobbied him back to Canada and look where that got him. That family made its own bed and continues to support their good friend Bin Laden.”

    And Omar has never been proved to have committed a crime. And as I stated (quite reasonably) he was also a child at the time.

    Folks like Colin are lying. No one wants Smith to walk free or Kadr to get a free pass. What they do want is the government, in Smith’s case, to live up to the long-standing principle in Canada that murder is wrong in all circumstances, including murder by the State. Thus the death penalty should be opposed wherever it is applied. They expect the government to stand up for Canadian citizens everywhere.

    They also expect people like Khadr to get the much vaunted due process Colin seems to bandy about when talking about Smith. He hasn’t got it. He was 15 year old child soldier who was imprisoned for over 5 years without charge or trial, who now is facing a military tribunal (which does not follow common law rules of procedure or evidence around since the Magna Cart and allows testimony extracted by torture to be admitted into evidence) for an act it seems he may not have even committed. Never mind that he did it at an age that all Conservatives seem to agree that he was not capable of making moral decisions at – 15.

    So Colin, stop lying. We will not be importing prisoners to “fill our jails or walk our streets” – Smith is the only one at the moment and he will never walk the streets again if he serves in Canada. Its hard to “fill our jails” when there are so few people. Never mind that it is the responsibility of the government to at least try.

    And Khadr, who was a “child” (by the Conservative definition of that term) at the time of his alleged crime is to be abandoned because his father was a bad guy or his mother dared to say something you don’t agree with? What about due process or freedom of speech?

    I guess those things are only important when its applied to guys like Ezra Levant and neo-Nazis.

    This is why you scum should never get a majority…you’d chuck every freedom we have for the sake of the convenience to go after your “enemies”. And you wonder why people think you are nothing more than neo-fascist thugs.

  • Gayle

    “The importing of criminals to either fill our jails or walk our streets is a non-starter with the majority of the population.”

    As a Canadian citizen, he would hardly be an “import”.

    Filling our jails is exactly what Harper plans to do – or were you not aware that his new crime package comes with the added costs of new prisons.

    The issue is about respecting our constitution. I read that Smith’s lawyers filed an application in the Federal Court to compel the government to intervene on his behalf – on the basis that if the government is obliged to ensure the requesting state will not impose the death penalty before they agree to extradite, so must the government seek clemency for its own citizens incarcerated abroad.

  • Colin

    Why the insult Mike? Nothing reasonable to say?

    The importing of criminals to either fill our jails or walk our streets is a non-starter with the majority of the population.

    A Canadian citizen committing crimes abroad has to understand that we arent a safety net. There is no home base like hide and go seek.

    Criminals convicted by a country that we recognize as having due process should serve their sentence where the crime was committed.

    As for Khadr, Chretien got burned by the old man when he lobbied him back to Canada and look where that got him. That family made its own bed and continues to support their good friend Bin Laden.

  • “Forget the fact that the kid is on video making bombs and hsi father is a known terrorist.”

    Indeed, except that isn’t what he is charged with. In fact, its doubtful he even threw the grenade in the incident he was detained for. Oh and he was 15 at the time, living in a war zone. Or is this the famous Conservative “not mature enough to consent to sexual relations, but certainly old enough to go to jail for life” double standard?

    Smith was going to spend his natural life in prison and would be paying for his crime. He wouldn’t be “walking the street” like mouth breather Colin seems to think.

    So I have to wonder if Cons are ignorant or liars, because the two here so far are just making stuff up.

  • Francis

    Seriously I really love this arguement and hope the Liberal Party take it into the next election.

    We want to stop a man being executed even though he confessed to a very BRUTTAL crime.

    We want to have Khdar back in Canada becaue we hate Gitmo. Forget the fact that the kid is on video making bombs and hsi father is a known terrorist.

    Sometimes the progressive elements of Cnada and rationale behind some of these arguments just scare me. Plain and simple, support for these individuals I will NEVER understand.

  • Colin

    Well Dan, if I read the post again, I notice that Scott takes isolated events and builds himself a nice little straw man by ascribing motives to the government that fit his world view.

    So I figured I would use the same technique.

  • @ Colin

    You show a complete lack of understanding of the argument Scott is making.

    Shame on you

  • Colin

    Because Canada needs more murderers?

    You and anyone that wants to import convicted murderers like Smith and terrorist wannabes like Khadr should wander the streets and tell the public that we need more people like that in our country.

    Shame on you.

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