Monday, April 05, 2010

How did this guy get pardoned?

The National Parole Board has some explaining to do.

Graham James, the junior coach convicted of sexually abusing his players in a case that rocked the hockey world from house leagues to the NHL, has been pardoned by the National Parole Board, The Canadian Press has learned.

WTF, this guy was found guilty and is still being investigated for other possible instances of abuse and he gets pardoned? I hope they are seriously going to look into this.

This from the PMO

A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, while noting the independence of the parole board, expressed shock that the government is learning of the pardon only three years after the fact. “The Prime Minister has asked for explanation on how the National Parole Board can pardon someone who committed such horrific crimes that remain shocking to all Canadians,” Dimitri Soudas said.

The ruling, he said, was made “without our government's consent or knowledge.”

“The actions of this convicted sex offender shocked the conscience of a nation – one where the bond of trust between coaches and players in our national game is sacred,” Mr. Soudas said.

Mr. Harper, he added, has asked Public Safety Minister Vic Toews “to propose reforms that will ensure that the National Parole Board always and unequivocally puts the public's safety first.

I am not sure what the government can really do considering the arms length relationship, and if they do try to do something the Liberals will scream about interference and hidden agenda etc, but they have to try.

Related: considering the outrage the Liberals showed over the Jaffer sentence, maybe they will do the right thing and not try and turn this into another political game.

Yea right.


Anonymous said...

"In 2006-07, the parole board issued 7,672 pardons to people convicted of lesser offenses; granted another 7,076 to people with more serious convictions, including Mr. James; and denied 103 applications. "

This is the problem.

Out of almost 15000 pardon applications, only 100 or so were refused.

Mr James is the least of our worries. This country has gone down the toilet and the people themselves are the reason. When you let the government bend you over on a daily basis and tell you to shut up and take it, then you refuse to throw them out by any means possible, you can only blame yourselves.

Until there is an armed revolution in Canada,nothing will change.


As a matter of fact, it is guaranteed to get far worse.

The Grey Lady said...

I find this hard to understand,

This man molested at least two young boys who became high profile players and the evidence of his deeds have been in "our faces" as a result. How the parole board can miss the life long implications of such a crime on the victim is beyond me, I had thought that this case would have made consequences to the victims real and clear to the general public...and even clear to the parole board.

Michael Harkov said...

For the Tories, parole system reform will be another successful plank that will resonate with Canadians.

Sammy said...

This story is indeed very troubling,and just what does it say to other victims of sexual abuse?I have a real personal interest in this,especially about how Sheldon Kennedy will handle it.My youngest son knew Sheldon back when he was at his lowest..used to party with him in bars in Brandon Mb.He got to know Sheldon as his best friend was Sheldon's cousin.I still remember my son coming home,and talking about what a 'party animal' Sheldon he would buy drinks for everyone in the bar,just so he would have someone to drink with.
When Sheldon finally came forward about his abuse,I remember my 'boy' of 21 yrs old,being just devastated..and him telling me how 'it all made sense now' why Sheldon drank so much.My boy was deeply affected by this (he is also a hockey player).Last nite,when I heard this news,I called my son,and he was so upset,he couldn't even talk about it..said he is just worried about how his old 'friend' is going to handle it.Something has to happen out of all this..we need to care more about victims,and to hell with these animals that continually get a slap on the wrist.Disgusting to say the least.

Jeff said...

That "7,672 pardons" info in anonymous' quoted comments comes from the CTV article AA links to.

I'm often annoyed at the lack of context from journalists. And as refreshing as it was to see those numbers, seeing them makes me curious.

Did the unnamed CTV writer include the numbers or did Canadian Press?

Why include such helpful (if not shocking) context when in many, many other stories, you give us none?

Is this another case of agenda journalism, but this time promoting a reform I support? Perhaps you can see how I'm confused because usually when you journalists provide helpful context, it's to promote your agenda. And last I checked, you guys weren't so big on punishing criminals.

Perhaps this story coming on the heals of stories about a serial pedophile priest in Milwaukee has something to do with it.

All that said, Graham James is a predator and should be in prison.

CanadianSense said...

Yes, I agree the timing or ommission of context to create a narrative is used by the MSM.

This will enrage most sensible people. The pedophile will become the posterboy for everything wrong with the Parole system.

Sadly little will be done in substantive terms to help the victims.
This will be another great plank for the CPC on the campaign and fundraising.

Jen said...

I don't see why the CTV CBC give to beans about the public as far as I know Robert FIFE was seen reporting from the jails or prison to see how many of the prisoners will be voting for the liberals.

Lynn said...

"Graham James, sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in 1997, was pardoned three years ago by Pierre Dion, a clinical psychologist in Ottawa and full-time member of the Appeal Division of the National Parole Board, the wire service reported."

This story is a good example of government and MP disconnect with the real world we peasants live in.

This story has been a major news item for four years, yet politicians had no idea James had been pardoned three years ago.No one had enough concern to follow up on this story?

I spoke to an MP a few months back, about a month after "climategate" had broken and was the rage of the blogosphere. Neither he nor his staff had any idea how serious it was,they just had this vague idea about "some stolen E-mails".

Once they get to Ottawa, politicians and their staff become completely wrapped up in the intrigues of the capitol,to the taxpayers detriment.

Three years after James was pardoned, the PMO is "outraged".

What took so long?

Ardvark said...

I always thought a pardon was for non violent and minor offenses and not serious crimes such as what James committed.

Judging by the numbers I would say that a pardon is basically automatic. Just file the paper work and poof, a pardon.

Jeff said...

Lots of surprise (shock is probable a better description) posted here about how many pardons the parole board has awarded.

I'm with Al on this: I thought pardons were rare.

Do I hear the scurrying of feet as a light is shone in a dark place?

Ardvark said...

Cosh is right, there is nothing out of the ordinary here.

Let's see if that can't be fixed.

gimbol said...

The parole board is only a symptom. They will follow through whenever a judge decides at sentencing if a convict is eligable for parole.
The judiciary seems to be part of the problem.