ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Craig Bottomley, criminal lawyer talks about Tori Stafford killer Terri-Lynne McClintic sent to healing lodge

English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00all right I was talking about other judges and when it comes to their opinions on matters of jurisprudence %HESITATION it's bewildered me as I said at the outset and I needed somebody else whose %HESITATION pay grade is home for her in line with understanding how this all plays
00:00:14out and to that end Greg Bottomley is joined us with the L. L. B. Bottomley barristers Craig it's good to have you on the Oprah show hi there hi thanks for having me appreciate you joining us %HESITATION maybe you can sort this one out number one have you
00:00:26ever come up against the case where a judge in this well this is a sordid story from back in two thousand nine the kidnapping rape and killing of eight year old Victoria oratory Stafford outside of Woodstock and %HESITATION one of the two found guilty was a Terry Lynn
00:00:41McClintic turns out the family just got word she's been transferred to an aboriginal healing lodge in Saskatchewan to serve out her sentence wasn't that long ago was murder in the first degree rather horrific with a a claw hammer she %HESITATION basically bludgeon the young girl to death sending
00:01:01somebody to one aboriginal healing lodge though %HESITATION is this a form of justice that is proportional do you feel well you have to remember is that the judge first of all that the site that's right the judge sentenced her to life in prison gave her the automatic sentence
00:01:16for anyone convicted of first degree murder so %HESITATION your your quarrel is not with the judge the judge had no choice of sensing on a first degree murder he don't you don't retire to go think about what you're gonna say generally because the the sense of automatic you
00:01:30life in prison is a sentence no eligibility for parole forty five years so she's not eligible for parole told twenty thirty one because she pled guilty in two thousand nine two thousand ten so she's been in custody at grand valley for the last eight years %HESITATION now that
00:01:49what has been decided and the judge has no control over this is that %HESITATION by customs Canada and they said okay we're going to move this person and I don't know if it's for the rest of her sentence or if it's because some programming became available at the
00:02:04healing lodge that they thought okay quintic is going to benefit from this so she's been she's been shipped there I'm not sure for how long Canada customs quite rightly won't comment on it because they don't tell you you know where prisoners are and and %HESITATION how long they're
00:02:19going to be there for for obvious says safety and security and privacy reason the only reason we know is because they notified the father of the of the poor girl %HESITATION and he you know understandably was was outraged and quite upset about this but we don't you know
00:02:35we don't let people the people that are affected emotionally are the ones making the decisions so it may be that some kind of programming came available now I'd like to say you know you you talk to people say Terry McClintock has been a model inmate but she was
00:02:50actually convicted of a fairly serious a subsequent incident while in prison where she got in a violent altercation with another person and stomp them quite badly and then there was a letter she wrote after that things you wish you'd done more to the person so %HESITATION you know
00:03:07she's going to get released at some point %HESITATION after twenty five years parole ineligibility is up so it may be that customers can say well it let's try and get her some rehabilitation while she's in here so that we really Sir she's a better more manageable person you
00:03:21say customs Canada is it because I don't know rex and yeah Canada sorry right correctional services Canada mean %HESITATION they've already the former is already taken enough blame for others tough no but I was I was blaming and judging you corrected me so that's %HESITATION something that I
00:03:36needed to clarify a judge would have no impact on this particular thing he just decides on I guess the sentence and then I guess %HESITATION where this perspective servers and %HESITATION it's up to corrections but you know it does still begged the original question who ascertained that and
00:03:52by what criteria I mean I'm not even sure of upon a few days as an indigenous person I would think I have any other well a lot of people to raise that specter that maybe %HESITATION you know is there a tenuous thing here that %HESITATION she can cite
00:04:06one thirty two %HESITATION something like the Elizabeth Warren story out of Massachusetts so I don't know I don't know if the the programming is only available to aboriginal people I don't know if %HESITATION if it's only %HESITATION you know indigenous programming there it may be that they have
00:04:22a program at that facility where they say you know what this is going to help %HESITATION this prisoner and she has been in Max for the last eight nine years so they've had a pretty good chance to observe her with the exception of the the one thing I
00:04:36told you about it may be that you know she's shown some promise or some interest in in rehabilitation and they've said okay what's and wrote %HESITATION this healing lodge together %HESITATION %HESITATION some kind of programming before we get to the parole date in twenty thirty one do you
00:04:52think it would be %HESITATION the the the the society would be better served if there were more transparency and accountability on these decisions for example somebody from correctional services Canada would have to answer for this right now it's sort of this amorphous %HESITATION it you know ambiguous bureaucracy
00:05:08and %HESITATION they cite privacy so you can find out anything much more about it %HESITATION people want answers yeah it's a real balancing act that has to be done I mean criminal lawyers are generally the ones advocating for transparent govern governance right were the ones that are question
00:05:23saying Hey you can't just make decisions they have to be aligned with the charter of rights and freedoms they have to be in line with the constitution and %HESITATION it's it's criminal defense lawyers members of the criminal lawyers association were on the front lines %HESITATION fighting for that
00:05:36very thing at the same time you know %HESITATION if your %HESITATION if there is rehabilitation to be done in the prisons %HESITATION you don't necessarily want everyone a responding all the time and second guessing every move that corrections Canada makes because you know it may be that the
00:05:55right thing %HESITATION for someone found guilty of some particularly heinous offense fifteen years down the road they say okay we're going to you know move them into this %HESITATION counseling service and then you know everyone's %HESITATION if everyone's freaking out about that because it's the emotional reaction move
00:06:12understandable emotional reaction but it might not be what's best for getting people back on the street behaving in %HESITATION societally pro social way well I wanted to pick up on that is the last case study Greg Bottomley is with us %HESITATION defense attorney with Bottomley barristers it's a
00:06:27about the Superior Court justice here in Toronto Sean naked suruh %HESITATION who apparently in sentencing a young black man who had been found guilty in a case that involved %HESITATION three others in a home invasion and when he ran he discarded his jacket inside found a loaded thirty
00:06:42eight caliber revolver and %HESITATION while the jury found him guilty of possession of a loaded prohibited firearm and related crimes which suggested some Sir this time behind bars the judge in his assessment decided that this this young man was a victim of sorts %HESITATION and his troubled past
00:07:00was routed experiences of colonialism slavery and segregation and that perpetuate systemic racism bringing negative treatment by schools services government institutions and police disparate education hiring and pay help impoverishing marginalize a community making the problem cyclical N. compounding so again a root causes argument %HESITATION I wonder if this
00:07:24frustrate well look you're on the defense and the equation but the crown had sought a four year sentence at least and %HESITATION the defense was this was part of the defense I guess does that make sense to you yeah I mean the defense was seeking one near the
00:07:38crown was seeking for %HESITATION and the and that was that the case with the Morris decision and I let me start by saying show naked through the the judge that made this decision is you know well regarded and well respected %HESITATION from both sides of the aisle you're
00:07:54you you'd be hard pressed to find a more thoughtful judge and he starts his judgment and it sounds like you've read it if he starts his judgment by saying I know this is gonna be on popular I know that people are going to have problems with this I
00:08:07recognize that the gun violence is a real problem in the city and but I'm going to impose this sentence it's going to be viewed as a lenient sentence let me tell you why and then he spends the next you know thirty pages of a very thoughtfully well crafted
00:08:24decision explaining it and you know the criminal law and decisions like this are often mechanisms for social change right like we all like that you're not you're not gonna have a single caller call in and say you know I'm for racism I'm for segregation I am for the
00:08:43oppression of people of color everyone wants to see change everyone agrees that that %HESITATION is needed in our society everyone recognizes this a problem and by justice naked sewers saying you know what if we're not going to change things if we're not going to recognize things I'm going
00:09:01to take that as a factor to be considered in the balancing equation that I have to do an imposing sentence and it's you know it's going to have one of three effects either it's gonna do absolutely nothing on either side of the scale and people are going to
00:09:16%HESITATION you know we're gonna still have a society that suffers from these problems and people who are committing a terrible gonna fences and it's going to do nothing for the better or it's gonna inspired some change a recognition of the social problems and maybe %HESITATION you know it's
00:09:33it's pretty hard for a politician to run on a platform that I'm gonna get tough on crime and I'm gonna throw people in jail for twenty years of the you can look at a gun and you know it it doesn't work it doesn't it doesn't do anything I
00:09:43I defy anyone to show me the social science where these you know higher sentences are reducing crime %HESITATION the Craig let me ask you mean what you just described is %HESITATION effectively the definition of judicial activism it's it is it there is it it may be the sort
00:09:59of thing and I don't know that this is just as naked to roost intention but it may be the sort of thing that inspires a discussion on shows like this %HESITATION something for politicians to consider and and thoughtful people to sit down and actually read this decision and
00:10:12say you know what maybe is on to something here %HESITATION and it may also be that we we have a bit of a case study and Mister Morris and were able to look at this and see what the leniency does and if you see him back before the
00:10:25courts in you know three years time with another difficult offense in all but the next judge absolutely hammers of all right in this one I'm sorry but I just it left me to wonder if he's expanded his mandate in %HESITATION dispensing justice and he's gone down the Boulevard
00:10:41of social justice and %HESITATION I just wanted to know you know if that's his purview but %HESITATION and that's where I asked about the judicial activism I guess I mean surely surely his job is justice right news a justice of the Superior Court of jurors of Ontario he's
00:10:57got we call plenary jurisdiction he's got a wide range and and if the crowd doesn't like it you know the court of appeal is is not a hard place for the crown to get to that go there all the time if they don't like it take it up
00:11:09a level and you'll see what a panel of three dozen and the court of appeal can be a very difficult place for defense counsel we we often get our heads handed to us when we walk in there and %HESITATION and and maybe the court %HESITATION upstairs will say
00:11:24something different but it's but as I say it's a very well reasoned judgment it's %HESITATION you know what the sentence that available in law to sentence where you know the mandatory minimums were struck down as being unconstitutional %HESITATION so this is something that's available to amend and he
00:11:39certainly given a lot of thought and come out with %HESITATION it'll be a courageous judgment is not the only time we do this right like it is mandated in criminal code to there's %HESITATION there's %HESITATION when when you're dealing with people of %HESITATION indigenous background you you take
00:11:56that into account because of the history of colonialism because of the you know over representation of natives in the justice system with this black young man how does that square because this also had me bewildered citing history of colonialism slavery and segregation that's more the American experience yeah
00:12:14although I don't think so week it's anecdotal at some point but I I had a sixteen year old kid in my office not too long ago and I and he's got no criminal record a he's you know he's now been charged with a criminal offense he and a
00:12:27and a pretty serious one and we're I'm looking into bringing %HESITATION a charter challenge in an arbitrary detention argument and I asked him like how many times have you if you put on the set let me does come to talk to be installed by the police in because
00:12:40%HESITATION I don't know probably about forty one and it was forty level and he's too young to drive ready does never drivers they didn't dress is walking on the street he's been stopped and and interviewed about forty times by various police officers had no criminal record and and
00:12:56I thought of my experience growing up as a as a young white teenager but never once did I get stopped so and this kid builds in time to his route in case you get stopped by the police so to say that it's not something that we need to
00:13:12be thinking about and to say it's not segregating affecting a large segment of our population is %HESITATION burying our heads in the sand psychologically segregating is what you're pointing out yeah Greg I appreciate your time %HESITATION really interesting discussion thanks so much we'll have to talk again take
00:13:28care thanks so much for having you got a great Bottomley a game defense attorney with Bottomley barristers

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