Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Quick Thought Experiment : Criminal Motivation

Is it safe to assume, that if you oppose a recent Ontario court ruling that ruled a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act unconstitutional ...

Ontario Superior Court Justice Douglas Rutherford ruled today that a clause that deals with religious, political or ideological motivation - a chief part of the Act’s definition of terrorism - violates Section 2 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, guaranteeing freedoms of religion, thought and belief.

... that you do so, not because of the judge's decision in and of itself, but because it takes away an opportunity to lay blame at the feet of a group with which you oppose? That is, prior to this ruling, if someone in Canada is convicted of being a terrorist, then they have to have had a political, religious, or ideological motivation to do so. By extension, if you define the act by the motivation, then the motivation itself will be perceived to be the crime - not the crime itself.

I'm not sure how that line of thinking can be supported.

After this ruling, if an alleged terrorist is found guilty of committing a terrorist act, it will be done without additional add-on that the alleged did it for "religious, political or ideological motivation". That motivation will come into play certainly at a sentencing, if the alleged is found guilty, but it's no longer a part of the crime committed nor the definition of the crime.

Tags: , , ,

9 comments:

Neo Conservative said...

Enough of this "hug a criminal" mentality.

The next time someone tells you that there is less street crime nowadays, than say, ten years ago, ask them if they leave their doors unlocked. Ask them if they have a security system in their house, or in their cars.

Ask them if they let their kids wander around the neighbourhood, like I used to do when I was a kid.

Frank Hilliard said...

The reason the judge's ruling was ill-considered and wrong is that motivation is central to the belief system that supports world-wide jihad. Those Saudi hijackers on 9/11 were not simply 'terrorists,' they were dedicated soldiers of the jihad. To reduce their motivation to non-existence makes fighting this war all but impossible.

The judge further commented that the motivation clause would cause a 'chill' on other members of the same group. Well, exactly! That's the whole point. For him to miss this is unbelievable.

One can never get a handle on a group effort if one only convicts terrorists for individual crimes. The terrorists didn't think one day, 'hey, today's the day I'm going to become a terrorist.' They got to that point because they were members of a group which urged them to undertake those acts.

It's the group -- the religion -- that is the key to all this, not individual convictions.

That's why the law, as written was correct, and the judge's decision, as handed down, incorrect.

The Federal Government should appeal this decision immediately

Mike said...

neo conservative,

There is less crime today than 10 years ago and markedly less crime in Canada than in the 70's, when I was a kid and used to wander around the neighbourhood.

Check Stats Can. its a fact, whether idiots like you choose to believe it or not.

Now, you can run scared and wet your pants and give up your essential freedoms and protections to the state if you wish, but know its not based on any kind of reality.

As a matter of fact, I have left my door unlocked and I do let my kids wander around the nieghbourhood. In suburban Ottawa.

Stop being such a coward.

Jim said...

If I was attacked by someone, I'm not sure that I want the person whose motive was robbery to get a lesser sentence than a person who was a Moslem.

Jim said...

Frank,

Is this terrorism?

Man rams car into women's clinic in Davenport

Let's see. Ideological : check. Intimidate : check.

Therefore, if you oppose abortion, you are a terrorist.

Or this:

Priest admits Madonna bomb hoax

Let's see. Religious : check. Intimidate : check.

Therefore, if you are a Russian Orthodox Christian, you're a terrorist.

Need more examples of why defining a criminal act merely by being associated to the "motivation"?

Myrddin Wyllt said...

Burn the Charter, that's what really needs to be done.
Calling the Charter simply flawed is akin to saying the Arctic can get a bit chilly.
It's the most ill thought out document ever created(excepting only Kyoto).
The G-- D---ed Liberals brought the Charter in to create strife not to end strife and it's time we regognized that fact and burned it.
It protects those that a real well thought out Charter would have protected us from!
Bring back the bill of rights.

Jeff said...

Hey, maybe you guys have a point. So when are we gonna repeal 'hate crime' legislation?

Jim said...

Hey, maybe you guys have a point. So when are we gonna repeal 'hate crime' legislation?

Maybe when 'hate crime' legislation includes motivation as a precondition of finding guilt.

Jim said...

In fact, check this out.

Subsection 3(b) of Section 319 of the Criminal Code, you can not be found guilty of a hate crime:

if, in good faith, he expressed or attempted to establish by argument an opinion on a religious subject;

There are other clauses too. As long as you don't think you're preaching hatred, you're free.

Imagine that.

The best one?

if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true;

It's the "I didn't know any better" defense.

Damn liberal laws, eh?