Their defence claimed that on the night that ROSZKO appeared at HENNESSEY's home (which he shared with his wife and 2 children) with a pistol tucked in to his belt, demanding a ride and HENNESSY's grandfather's shotgun - that he agreed out of fear for his family. Why he included his young brother-in-law was something he would regret. That the two did not confess until the "sting" played out can not be seen as favouring their sentence. Opinions are varied on the extent that this evidence would not have merited a Homicide charge, but some feel that the most relevant factor was that it was a police murder and that "the Mounties Always Get Their Man" - so no opportunity would have been left unexplored for as heavy a conviction as possible. The Crown is looking for 10-15 years.
Also this week the CBC Investigative Journalism program - "The Fifth Estate" - aired a segment involving another RCMP "Mr. Big" conviction of Andy ROSE for a double-murder near Chetwynd BC in 1983. Although an earlier, less polished version of the sting technique against an broken alcoholic man years after the crime on purely circumstantial evidence would have seemed unlikely, Andy ROSE is still in jail for the crime.
The "Mr. Big" Sting operation seems to be a specialty of Canada, perfected by the RCMP. Evidence obtained in this manner is not considered acceptable or credible in the U.S (or the U.K except under very stringent conditions). Many of these operations involve supposedly illegal activities, but they are usually just elaborately staged con's. It was only after the RCMP's allegations of "dirty tricks" during the events surrounding the FLQ Crisis in October 1970 that a Royal Commission was called in deliberate "illegal" activities conducted by the RCMP. That inquiry was headed by a Justice of the Alberta Supreme Court, David C. MacDonald of Edmonton AB. This commission led to a separation of powers at the RCMP and creation of a separate domestic intelligence agency, CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) in 1984.
|It is notable that many subsequent questions have been raised recently about the RCMP and its ability to transition to a National Police Service similar to the FBI in the U.S. In late 2006 RCMP Commissioner Giuliano ZACCARDELLI, resigned over intense questions about his handling of Maher ARRAR, a Canadian of Syrian decent who was allegedly tortured after being illegally transported (under a process known as "extraordinary extradition") to countries supportive of the U.S invasion of Iraq. Journalist Paul PALANGO has just published a book about this entitled "Dispersing the Fog: The RCMP, the CIA, Governments and the Continuing Crisis in Canada". |
The tradition in Canada for law enforcement is to “play dirty” and do whatever necessary to secure a conviction. There have been many examples recently of the Police Services across the country of applying a double standard when it comes to self-policing (2009JAN27 - Vancouver man assaulted by off-duty police).