Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/6/2007 (3325 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Albert Einstein taught us that E=mc2.
And yet I can't help but wonder how one of the truly great minds of all-time would attempt to explain the way the Canadian justice system computes numbers.Consider the following puzzling case, which I write about in Friday's Free Press.A 49-year-old man who repeatedly raped his 15-year-old stepdaughter and eventually got her pregnant was sentenced Thursday to 66 months in prison.Many will cry out and say that's not nearly enough for such a horrific crime, especially considering the severe breach of trust and the fact he raped her up to 20 separate times.But wait. It gets worse.It will be a miracle if the man serves a day past 30 months.That's because only in Canada is the sentence you receive truly not worth the paper it's written on.Here's how the sentence breaks down, literally.-The man has served 23 months of pre-trial custody as of today.-The sentencing judge gave him double-time credit, so 23 months quickly became 46.-The judge then ordered him to serve another 20 months.-He is eligible for parole after doing one-third of the remaining time (just short of 7 months).-Even if not released early, he will get statutory release after two-thirds (just under 14 months).Here's where we show our work.A) 23 months (pre-trial custody) X 2 (double-time credit) = 46 months + 20 months (additional time) = 66 months. B) 23 months (time actually spent in custody to date) + 7 months (time remaining if granted 1/3 parole) = 30 months.C) 23 months (time actually spent in custody to date) + 14 months (time remaining if denied parole until statutory 2/3 release date) = 37 months.
I think I probably learned in kindergarten, or maybe even nursery school, that 66 is greater than 30. Or 37.Yet Canadian justice system math would have us believe it's all equal.This case is hardly unique. This sort of thing plays out every single day, in every single Canadian city.And it's why many people have been calling on our elected leaders to look at bringing in "truth in sentencing", which means exactly what is suggests.66 months would mean 66 months. That means no special credit for pre-trial custody. No early parole. No exceptions. Maybe we could call it Einstein's Law.
Thoughts? Post 'em below.