Sunday, February 19, 2006

Common sense in Canadian court

All is not dark in the far north. In contrast to the story below, this one would seem to indicate there's at least some sanity left in their court system.

Police busted a marijuana grow-op, seizing almost 600 plants. It's a pretty open and shut case except, the police caught the Vietnamese grower on the basis of a fishing expedition after combing land records to target home purchases by Asians. I guess this judge still believes in civil rights.
"It is a stereotypical assumption that because some grow operations have been run by East Asians, that anyone purchasing a new home who is Vietnamese must be conducting a grow operation," Mr. Justice Kruzick ruled, further noting that convicting Nguyen would have the effect of condoning racial profiling and would have brought the administration of justice into disrepute.

There is a growing realization that racial profiling, by which police ascribe certain criminal behaviours to members of identifiable groups, is not only odious, but also risky and ineffective. The fact that some officers continue to judge people based on "a stereotypical assumption," in Mr. Justice Kruzick's words, is troubling.
Some would say, so what - the guy was doing something illegal but if we dispense punishment at the expense of justice, we lose the respect for humanity that sets us apart from mere savages. The Toronto Star says it well. "True justice is blind; it knows not colour, race, gender or creed. Mr. Justice Kruzick deserves praise for reinforcing this vital legal principle."
[ht Tim Meehan]


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