Monday, November 16, 2009

Custody battles in the age of Internet chats

I suppose this article is good news, however at the end it reveals that the father who earns $200,000 will pay $7,600 per month in Child support and maintenance for their two children 4 and 7.   That works out to $91,200 per year! Assuming that is all Employment Income he would normally pay $67,500 in combined BC and FED Income Tax leaving $132,500 less amount paid to ex-wife $91,200 = $41,300 per year or $3,400 mth to live on. Perhaps not surprisingly here is article in today's New York Times entitled "Financial Decisions to Make as You Divorce"

It is also shocking that the article refers to many cases in Alberta, Ontatio and elsewhere where mothers have been allowed to move children because they could maintain relationships with fathers by Skype.

Dads battle in memory of lost daughters

Although I feel hounding some Sex Offender (at leat the ones charged in connection with Family breakdown) once they have served their FULL sentence and are NO LONGER DEEMED a risk to the public is wrong, I support these men who's daughter's were murdered by seriously twisted sexual predators while on release or early parole despite being strongly indicated that they were still at risk to offend.

I wonder why and how these terrible decisons are made?  How sucessful are they?  What is the measure of success?   I suggest that the parole bureaucrats be compensated for the number of applications they process (not release) BUT receive claw-backs when they go bad.  Or perhaps that victims families have the ability to sue bureaucrats for negligence in not carrying out their duties.

Here is link to the support group they formed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another "Mr. BIG" Prosecution looks doubtful in MB

Following the acquittal of Kyle UNGER three weeks ago another prosecution by longtime Crown Attorney George DANGERFIELD is under review.  It bears the same hallmarks of many other previous mishandled cases by DANGERFIELD - included a RCMP "Mr. BIG" sting.

I can't help but wonder that the crown, eager for victims and to enhance their own reputations advanced cases  on the flimsiest of evidence and got the verdict - should be held more accountable for their actions.  Clearly they have overstepped the boundaries of reasonable evidence gathering.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crime, Police and Punishment

The "get tough on crime" horse is being beaten again.

1) SQ "Complete Investigations" [Full Pundit - Nov 10] Duly noted  The Montreal Gazette's Henry Aubin reports on depressingly familiar revelations from the inquiry into the shooting death of Freddy Villanueva by police in Montreal North last year. To wit: The Sûreté du Québec officer conducting an “independent” investigation of the matter gave the two officers involved “the opportunity to agree on a common version of the shootings” and meet with a union rep. The investigating officer later claimed, ludicrously, that the departmental policy to the effect officers involved in a shooting be “isolated” from each other really means they should be “isolated” from the scene of the crime. Also, he never interrogated the officers, instead taking their written statements at face value because — are you ready for this? — “we, the police, are honest.” Enough, says Aubin. It could hardly be any clearer that no one benefits when the police investigate themselves. [What a joke]


2) Tough on Crime Maclean's John Geddes asks Justice Minister Rob Nicholson for the evidence prepared by the 200-or-so lawyers under his employ to support the tough-on-crime measures in question. Mr. Nicholson's office concedes there is no such evidence, but argues, in the case of mandatory minimum penalties, that “if judges refuse to hand down sentences that fit the crime, ... the government [has] little choice but to legislate longer prison time.” Alright, says Geddes, so, how long are these too-lenient sentences in question? No idea, says Ottawa, astonishingly. “Nicholson’s office and his departmental officials admit they have not compiled statistics on typical sentences in convictions for most of the crimes they’ve targeted for MMPs.” Just... wow. As Geddes points out, these goobers may actually end up establishing MMPs well below the current average sentence! It's one thing to pursue cynical justice policies, knowing that — in the immortal words of Ian Brodie — it'll only boost Tory fortunes to be criticized by “university types.” It's quite another not even to be able to identify the supposed problem.

3) Jury Changes [CBC Radio - The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti]   The jury pool in Ontario could get a bit smaller in the coming weeks. A government bill now working its way through the Ontario legislature would prevent anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offense from sitting on a jury. The bill echoes a similar law in Alberta that also prohibits anyone facing a criminal charge that has yet to be proven from sitting on a jury. Across the country the rules on who qualifies to sit on juries varies and those convicted of serious criminal offenses with jail terms or hefty fines are usually disqualified.  Sanjeev Anand is concerned that governments are limiting the pool of people who are permitted to sit on juries. He says there are consequences for our justice system. Sanjeev Anand is a Law Professor at the University of Alberta and he was in Edmonton.

4) Gun Registry Last week Gun Registry was put to sleep in a remarkable free vote that saw a number of NDP and Liberals' in favour securing its passage.  Here are some points from the National Post Editorial on the topic. In the event that the federal long-gun registry is finally wiped out (in doubt as it must pass through the Public Safety Committee) after Wednesday’s startlingly strong House of Commons vote in favour of doing so, are there any lessons we can take away in exchange for the $2-billion we expended on the Liberals’ cosmetic Chrétien-era absurdity?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Weighing Life in Prison for Youths Who Didn’t Kill

Quote that caught my eye,
"It just seems to me that if you are going to put someone who is 13 or 14 or 15 or 16 or 17 into prison, you ought to leave them some hope." Retired judge, JOHN R. BLUE, on inmates who are serving life sentences with no possibility of parole for crimes they committed as juveniles in which no one was killed.
There are just over 100 people in the world serving sentences of life without the possibility of parole for crimes they committed as juveniles in which no one was killed. All are in the United States. And 77 of them are in Florida.   The argument being made is that it is contrary to the 8th Amendment forbidding "cruel and usual punishment" to sentence these youths when they may not have the capacity to understand their crime (although it appears this is a  factor taken into consideration in sentencing) or who may be among the few criminals who can be rehabilitated.  And then I thought - and how many are women?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Memorium to David Andrew BAGLEY (1973SEP25 - 2001NOV05)

On Nov 5, 2001 David Andrew BAGLEY was murdered in Latrobe PA. All available evidence pointed pretty convincingly to his former girlfriend, Shirley TURNER - with whom he had just ended their relationship.  Before she was taken into custody and properly investigated for her role in the crime, she fled to her native Newfoundland.  But that was not the end of her crimes.  Extradition proceeding were started but it became known she was pregnant with BAGLEY's baby.  This delayed extradition proceedings  until this baby - to be named Zachary - was born on Aug 18, 2002.

As time drew on many odd behaviours by TURNER became known to those professionals and personal acquaintances around her.   Yet not one seemed inclined to "connect the dots" about her poor mental state.  In particular, as TURNER was a MD and had friends who were also health professionals it seems remarkable than no-one flagged her troubled behaviour as a potential risk for her new baby.  In an exhaustive review of the case by Justice MARKESTEYN issued in 2006, he described TURNER as "in denial about her own state" and that "her own lawyer seemed unaware about her emotional fragility".

After Zachary was born the extradition process was put in motion again and due to the lengthy process, discussions and appeals - the final decision was received around August 15, 2003 as Zachary was almost 13mths.  With the extradition looming, TURNER late on the evening of Aug 17, 2003 drove with her young son near the home of a recent paramour who had also rejected her, gave her infant son Ativan and jumped into the ocean drowning them both.

I would probably not be marking these deaths - despite the terrible tragedy it represented - except to highlight the strange tunnel-vision of authorities who failed to hold this women to the same standards as we know would apply to men.  I suggest such inattention can not be rationally explained as anything but gender discrimination and happens all too often, usually the lethal detriment of men.

In general the whole sorry case is outlined here, GLNL Turner Review and Investigation - Sept 2006. 
  • the preferential treatment of women after divorce allowed TURNER to gain financially from child support payments despite not actually looking after or maintaining full custody of her children.
  • she married and divorced twice with 3 children.
  • she was unfaithful during her marriages with a number of men - often 9-12 yrs younger - which likely contributed to the failure of her marriages.
  • a poor and neglectful mother who was the subject of child abuse reports - with no consequences
  • according to her residency supervisor (who himself was a doctor) she exhibited "manipulative, guiltless and psychopathic" behaviour on many occasions. 
  • exhibited many classical DV "controlling" behaviour in many of her personal relationships - stalking, persistent phone-calls, unconscionable jealousy, female "territoriality" (highly exclusionary of current and former female relationships), dramatic suicidal threats and gestures etc.
With hindsight, Shirley TURNER was "unbalanced" but as MARKESTEYN stated in his report, she was so skilled at deceptions it would have taken diligent study to determine her "delinquent parenting history or her - in my reserved opinion - seriously dysfunctional psyche".  A sad case at the hands of an truly psychotic women.

[On March 11, 2009 a longtime friend of Andrew BAGLEY screened a documentary film about this whole saga - it was titled  "Dear Zachary" and I am posting on my "Movie's To Watch" sidebar.]

[References: here and here or]

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Equal Parenting Amendment - Press Conference Highlights

I apologize for this tardy post.  It has taken me some time to get a copy of this 2009 Jun17 Press Conference held following the First Reading of PMB-C422, introduced by Saskatchewan-Wanuskewin MP, Mr. Maurice VELLACOTT (Cons) with the co-sponsorship of two Quebec members - Laval-Les Iles MP, Mme. Raymonde FALCO (Lib) and Levis-Bellchasse MP, M. Steven BLANEY (Cons).

It is worthwhile viewing all of them as I do not think the Press Conference was widely broadcast and it is quite interesting to see the broad public and political support in Quebec.   In addition, Quebec spokesperson Lise BILODEAU,  ANCQ (L’ACTION DES NOUVELLES CONJOINTES ET NOUVEAUX CONJOINTS DU QUÉBEC) as well as Mme. FALCO and M. BLANEY made of number of important points (in French) in their brief comments.   In addition, the only questions asked was from a member of the french Press - indicating the high level of interest by Quebec on the issue of Equal Parenting

Here are the links:
Clip 1 - Introduction by MP Maurice VELLACOTT (5:52)
Clip 2 - comments by Kristin TITUS, Co-President CEPC (Cdn Equal Parenting Council) (2:49)
Clip 3 - comments by John MENEER, Director CEPC (2:11)
Clip 4 - comments (in french) by Lise BILODEAU, President ANCQ (2:14)
Clip 5 - comments (in french) by MP Raymonde FALCO (3:53)
Clip 6 - comments (in french) by MP Steven BLANEY (3.21) 
Clip 7 - Closing Remarks by MP Maurice VELLACOTT (2:13)
Clip 8 - Q&A (in french) (7:40)

Please refer to other previous posts on this topic - here, here and here.