Friday, August 5, 2011

Canadians Struggle With Self-Defense Issues

David Chen tied up a shoplifter

Canadians are facing legal issues regarding self-defense in these changing times-
From The Montreal Gazette:

TORONTO — A Toronto man escorting his girlfriend to her home Sunday night discovered signs of entry to her house and, fearing for the woman's mother sleeping inside, searched for intruders. A man was found hiding, Toronto police said. An ensuing struggle left the intruder bleeding from stab wounds.
As frightening as the incident was, it is the charging of the boyfriend with aggravated assault, punishable by 14 years in prison, that makes the case stand out in a clutter of urban crime.
It is the latest flashpoint in the debate over self-defence and protection of property after a number of high-profile cases across Canada brought a clamour for clarity and change.
"The man was charged because it is alleged the stabbing was excessive," said Const. Tony Vella. "It is alleged that he stabbed the man a number of times. He's fortunate to be alive."
Key to the case is that the multiple stab wounds were inflicted both inside the home and outside, Vella said, suggesting the occupants might have been able to close the door once he was outside and call police.
Recent self-defence cases have not gone well for prosecutors.
Last month, Lawrence Manzer, of Burton, N.B., had a mistrial declared in charges stemming from a confrontation with intruders on his neighbour's property. Sloppy paperwork was cited as the reason.
The same month Kim Walker, a Yorkton, Sask., welder, was sentenced to eight years after a jury declined to find him guilty of murder for killing his daughter's boyfriend whom he deemed to be destroying his drug-addicted 16-year-old daughter. He was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
In May, Joseph Singleton, 46, a farmer in Taber, Alta., had his charges — for assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm, after he wounded a man who had just burgled his house with the blunt end of a hatchet — referred to an alternative measures program.
In March, prosecutors dropped gun charges against Ian Thomson, 53, of Port Colborne, Ont., who shot at three masked men caught firebombing his home while one yelled: "Are you ready to die?" The Crown said there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.
And last October, David Chen, a Toronto grocer in Chinatown became a celebrity when he was acquitted of charges after he tied up a repeat shoplifter in a citizen's arrest.
"The courts have repeatedly said the self-defence sections of the Criminal Code are incredibly complicated. The provisions are really complex and are in need of an overhaul to simplify them,"


Charles James said...

Simplification itself can mean many holes that would allow those you mention to have actually gone to jail.

The question and answer is never simple or easy. The reason complications arise is the effort to remove unjustified prosecution and jailings yet at the same time it resulted in unjustified prosecutions and jailing.

Complicated. Makes SD instruction complicate too. Yes?

Dojo Rat said...

Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

Josh Skinner said...

I always love how the VICTIMS get charged when attempting to protect their family.

This may sound harsh but: if I find someone who has broken into my home I'm gonna kill them.

They've given me no reason to think they aren't there to do someone some harm. It's just common sense.

If that intruder wants to live they're gonna have to do a damn good job convincing me they mean no harm.

If an individual has no issue with breaking into your home then it's a safe bet that he has no problem stabbing you and/or raping your wife.

To further make my point:

A friend of mine recently lost his mother to a tweeker who had broken into the home looking for drugs.

She was shot in the back of the head as she was bringing groceries into the kitchen.

So, I have no remorse for these animals.

Train Hard,
Josh Skinner