Courts, Corrections, Incarceration

Anything related to the court system, sentencing of offenders, or incarceration issues

Ohio driver blows through border

A provincial court judge in Sarnia, Ont., has sentenced a U.S. resident 75 days in jail for speeding across the border from Michigan and giving the finger to officers before an hours-long police pursuit in May. In sentencing Benjamin Fleece, the judge noted that he had already been sentenced in London to 30 days plus three years probation. [node:read-more:link]

Court asked to block PHAC documents release

The government wants the Federal Court to prohibit disclosure of documents related to the dismissal of two researchers from the country’s Level 4 virology laboratory in Winnipeg. The Public Health Agency of Canada has refused to heed a Conservative demand for the documents, resulting in the agency’s president being formally censured by the House of Commons. In seeking the court’s cooperation, the government is challenging a long-held principle that the House has unfettered power to demand the documents regardless of security or privacy concerns. [node:read-more:link]

Class-action over alleged RCMP tactics

Despite opposition by the government, a Federal Court judge gave a green light today to a class-action lawsuit which alleges that the RCMP in Northern Canada systematically brutalized indigenous peoples. Justice Glennys McVeigh explained that “the claims do not ask if an RCMP officer illegally assaulted a class member, but rather whether the operations of the RCMP create a system where illegal assaults happen.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian “voice of ISIS” investigated

The RCMP is investigating possible “serious terrorism offences” by a Canadian citizen who became known as the “voice of ISIS” for narrating execution videos. An RCMP affidavit unsealed in court June 22 says it had reason to believe that Mohamed Khalifa from Toronto, in custody in Syria after being captured in 2019 by Kurdish forces, had committed four offences. [node:read-more:link]

Drug trial has international twists

A Canadian national has been deported to the Netherlands from Taiwan to stand trial on charges that he oversaw a global methamphetamine cartel. Lawyers for Tse Chi Lop, who was arrested in Amsterdam in January and detained on a 2019 Australian warrant, say he was deported illegally as part of an international scheme to ensure a long sentence in the Dutch court. [node:read-more:link]

Rosalie Abella: rebel with a cause

Madam Justice Rosalie Abella, retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada at the mandatory age of 75, has been considered as the country’s foremost activist judge. While not the first jurist to so categorized, she definitely has pushed the cout-knows-best doctrine when it comes to shaping social policy in an era when legislatures are widely seen as mishandling that portfolio. [node:read-more:link]

Supreme Court nominee has diverse background

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated an Ontario appellate court judge, Mahmud Jamal, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella. The Kenyan-born judge was educated at Christian schools but raised at home as a Muslim and family immigrated to Canada in 1981. A veteran litigator before his appointment to the Ontario court two years ago, he also was involved in dozens of appeals heard by the SCOC. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: sneaky tactics backfire

Two Vancouver residents who sneaked into a small Yukon community, flouting quarantine and posing as local motel workers to get early COVID-19 vaccinations have been fined a total of $2,300 after pleading guilty. “There was harm, but the harm wasn't anyone catching COVID,” Territorial Court Judge Michael Cozens said in sentencing Rod and Ekaterina Baker. “It was certainly psychological.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian student freed from Turkish prison

Cihan Erdal, a Canadian permanent resident and PhD student at Carleton University in Ottawa, was released from a Turkish prison this week after nearly nine months of incarceration. Included in a mass arrest in September of dozens of persons who had been accused of anti-government protest six years ago, he still must report to police twice weekly and cannot leave Turkey without official permission. [node:read-more:link]

Unprecedented human rights lawsuits

A former security chief at a Guatemalan mine once owned by Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals has pleaded guilty to killing a critic in 2009. Adolfo Ich was campaigning against the project and for Mayan land rights when he was killed. The mine was sold to a Swiss company in 2011 but an Ontario court ruled in 2013 that three civil suits could continue against Hudbay, the first time foreign claimants were allowed to pursue a lawsuit against a Canadian company in Canada for alleged human rights abuses elsewhere. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian imprisoned for teenage plot

The family of a mentally-ill Ontario man convicted for agreeing to a terrorism plot in 2015 while a teenager say he shouldn't be in a Colorado “supermax” prison. They want Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy repatriated for the rest of his 40-year sentence to receive psychiatric help. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and addiction issues, he was 17 and living with his parents when he encountered an FBI agent posing as a terrorist and agreed to help plot attacks which were never carried out [node:read-more:link]

“Butcher of Bosnia” loses genocide appeal

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladić has lost his appeal against a 2017 conviction for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. A five-member UN panel upheld his life sentence today for his role in killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. [node:read-more:link]

Google bows to antitrust pressure

In a settlement with French authorities, the Internet giant Google said today that it will change its global advertising policy to ensure it does not abuse is dominant market position. This was after the California-headquartered company was fined €220million by the French competition bureau in a case with broad international ramifications. [node:read-more:link]

Huawei facing renewed pressure in Europe

The espionage trial of a former Polish intelligence agent and a former Huawei employee began today in Warsaw as some European countries consider whether to block the Chinese company’s involvement in upgrading their telecommunications networks. The two accused were arrested in January 2019. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: Texas healthcare workers protest

A group of Houston hospital workers have invoked the Nuremburg Code in suing their employer over mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. Implemented after WWII in response to Nazi atrocities, the code is designed to prevent experimentation on human subjects without their consent. The suit follows a statement by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that employers could mandate vaccinations. [node:read-more:link]


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