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Life in Prison Should Mean Life

January 27, 2015 |

life means lifeI can hear the howls of protest already.  The proponents of limited incarceration for everyone will say – We mustn’t punish people for their whole lives for 1 bad deed.

Gee, I don’t know.  The last time I checked, someone who is murdered doesn’t suddenly wake up a few days later, to live another day.

That “one bad deed” has eternal consequences for the person murdered.  It has eternal consequences for the families, friends and loved ones.

Finally, the Conservative Government is said to be tabling a bill that will essentially say that on certain convictions – LIFE means LIFE.  It is long overdue.  Back in 2011, they removed the Faint Hope Clause and this is the logical next step.

Now the big fly in the ointment – we know this will get challenged.  Anti-constitutional howling will be loud and fierce.

This unfortunately is where the Government should decide once and for all that if there is a Supreme Court challenge, they will not hesitate to use the Not Withstanding Clause.

Of course the other factor here, is cost.  To house prisoners for life is expensive.  That will be one of the usual red herrings that the opposition Parties will try to use to attack the Government.

Instead of making prisons “Club Fed” complete with the expenses that accompany it, why try to create “new prisons” that are more self-sufficient?

One of the other methods of thinking that need to be recalibrated is things like conjugal visits and some of the other “outside” rights that are extended to prisoners. Prisons should not be inhumane, but by the same token, they shouldn’t just be neighborhoods with a high fence.  Voting, day trips, conjugal visits don’t belong in a prison environment either.

That said, this latest Parliamentary bill is a good step forward.

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Category: Canada

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