EDITORIAL: Too often free again to wreak havoc
There are many complaints about the justice system in Canada.
These almost always concern perceived lack of justice when a sentence is handed down in a courtroom.
There is often much more than meets the eye when it comes to why a certain sentence has been imposed.
However, there are cases — and there are two fresh ones occurring right now in Kamloops — in which it is incumbent for the state to incarcerate people for the safety of others.
On Nov. 21, Valerie Brook was killed while walking in a downtown crosswalk. The alleged driver the truck that hit her is a 62-year-old man who was banned from driving at the time of the accident.
Last week, police arrested this same man for driving while prohibited — in the same area in which Brook was killed.
The man was issued yet another ticket (under the Motor Vehicle Act, not the Criminal Code) and remains free to drive again today, or tomorrow, or the next day.
Meanwhile, a trial continues today. It involves allegations David Jennings sexually assaulted a boy.
This would be the same Jennings who was the subject in 2011 of a warning from police about an untreated, high-risk sex offender living in Kamloops.
This would be the same Jennings who was the subject of a similar warning in Kamloops in 1998.
Is there a point at which rehabilitation of certain people becomes a moot point and the justice system decides to err on the side of caution by placing the protection of the innocent above the rights of those who commit crimes?
If there exists such a point, these two men passed it long ago and should not be allowed to roam free.
This will not happen, of course, which serves as a salient example as to why so many ordinary Canadians are so frustrated with some aspects of their criminal-justice system.