Is there a Judge recall mechanism in Ontario? I wish I knew. This guy is not interested in enforcing the law. From an incident that happened just a few kilometers down the road from my home last year, Ontario Provincial Court Justice John Moore, criminal justice specialist at Toronto’s College Park court house, has sentenced two cabbie-killing street racers to…nights sleeping at home. From The Toronto Star, May 29, 2007:
Wing-Piao Dumani Ross and his friend Alexander Ryazanov, both 20, must serve an additional year under an 11 p.m.-6 a.m.curfew, but with few other restrictions.
In imposing the conditional sentence totalling two years less a day this morning, provincial court Justice John Moore rejected a Crown request for a three-year federal penitentiary term.
“It was an exercise in speed and bad judgment, not criminal intent, that resulted in the death of Mr. (Tahir) Khan,” Moore said.
So, according to Moore, these guys didn’t know that street racing at up to 140km/hr in a 50 km/hr zone on a residential feeder road wasn’t criminal. My two-year-old could tell you that it was criminal!
More on this joke of a sentence:
The two university students must also perform 150 hours of community service and serve two years probation, and are prohibited from driving for four years.
During their year of house arrest, they can still attend university or take jobs.
So, you say – the damage is already done, so why ruin these two 20-year-old boys’ lives? They are sorry, isn’t that enough? No, it’s not. Justice in a civilized society has three purposes: to punish, to teach, and to deter. Even if you take the suspect position that these men (yes, they are men, not boys) have learned their lesson, they have not been punished, and deterrence of future incidents has not been established for the rest of society.
OK, you say – this judge must have seen something in the evidence here, he’s probably a very reasonable man who really does believe in upholding the law. Correct? Well, perhaps he has a history of activist rulings from the bench. From a 2003 Toronto Star article referenced here on this marijuana legalization site:
On Jan. 10, a second Ontario Court judge in a month found there is currently no law prohibiting the possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying he followed a “common sense” path in the wake of a number of recent court rulings.
Justice John Moore quashed marijuana possession charges against Martin Barnes, a 40-year-old Toronto man arrested last summer with the equivalent of one joint, or about $5 worth of marijuana, in his coat pocket.
Great. In Moore’s world, his own “common sense” trumps the law. Can someone please direct me to the chapter in Canadian law that deals with the standard of “John Moore’s Common Sense”?
I’d love to know more about Moore, because accountability is sorely lacking from our justice system. Particularly, I’m interested to find out if he is involved in the Restorative Justice movement. (More on this disgraceful, subversive movement in the future.)