Graham James Pardoned
Came across the following while tracking the scores:
Graham James - the abuser of Sheldon Kennedy, Theo Fleury and unnamed others has received a pardon. Redefining ridiculous.
I suspect some empty suits at the National Parole Board will soon be added to the EI rolls, and rightfully so.
Frankly I question why anybody convicted of sex crimes, especially against minors, would even be eligible for parole.
The worst part is, with this expunged from his criminal record he may no longer show up on criminal background checks when applying for visas that some countries require for entry. Unless there are groups that keep databases of sexual abusers that his kept separate from regular criminal record checks, countries around the world will be none the wiser.
I still can't believe he ever got a job coaching youth hockey in Spain.
A pardon is not worth the paper it is written on!
Think about it for a minute, if you were convicted of a criminal offence here in Quebec, it would require all the remaining provinces as well as the feds to eliminate your file from their databases. Similarly, it would require each and every state of America to do the same
It is impossible to expunge a criminal record
A criminal record stays with you for life!
If I’m a betting man, Spain was fully aware of his criminal past
Apparentlly, there are other complaints outstanding against James. Perhaps, he will have the choice of staying away from Canada permanently or being back in a Canadian jail soon.
Last edited by anon_vlad; 04-05-2010 at 06:15 PM.
Interesting article in the Globe and Mail today. Most crimes are eligible for a pardon and the facts of the crime are irrelevant... it is the conduct of the applicant post conviction that is important.
Very few pardon applications are refused. Despite a pardon, sex crimes are still flagged in the records. A pardon can be revoked for later bad conduct.
No system is perfect. The professional board member here would not have had the more recent allegations of old crimes before him. If you are unhappy about the decision you should criticize your representatives who you have elected to express your interests, not the guy who applies the law enacted by them. I'm guessing it's Liberal legislation, unchanged by the Tories, supported by the NDP and most likely the Bloc, with the Greens not having addressed the issue.
It's disingenuous for Harper to be outraged... he could have changed the legislation... I expect he now will; the other parties will be afraid not to support the change, but in their hearts they will really do not want a change.
James began his redemption by pleading guilty. He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years. He would have been on the bottom of the "peckering" order in penitentiary and his stay would not have been pleasant.
What is wrong with the concept of granting pardons? Once one has served his time, lived a clean life for 5 years, it benefits everyone to help by the granting of a pardon. This acknowledges that people can change and it allows them to more easily find work and travel.
Most western religions believe in redemption. For example, even the Roman Catholic Church, with its deeply entrenched moral code, is a firm believer in it and has demonstrated it's acceptance across the years.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
7 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
Last edited by Dee; 04-05-2010 at 06:26 PM.
Veteran of Misadventures
I am having trouble with the concept of a pardon as it is being used here. Typically when used in American jurisprudence a pardon means that someone gets immunized from possible future criminal prosecution and/or punishment. What is being discussed here is a pardon after someone has served time pursuant to a guilty plea or conviction and time served. In that case there is nothing to pardon. I am not sure I get it. I am not an expert in Canadian law but I have studied law in the USA and I seem to be missing something here.
It could be that we have the double jeopardy clause which makes a pardon moot. It's right in our US Constitution and therefore nobody would ever be pardoned in this situation because there is nothing to pardon, as immunity already attaches by virtue of double jeopardy.
I wish this came up on my Con Law exam because I would have aced that fucker if it did.
Last edited by EagerBeaver; 04-05-2010 at 06:44 PM.
Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
I think you have set out the difference in Canada and the United States... here is what the web site says:
A pardon is evidence that the conviction should no longer reflect negatively on a person’s character. In support of this statement, the CRA restricts access to records under federal jurisdiction and removes any disqualifications that would result from a conviction. With regards to employment, the CRA specifies that information about pardoned offences shall not be sought in the employment applications of organizations under federal jurisdiction. In addition, the Canadian Human Rights Act forbids federal agencies and departments to discriminate against an individual based on a pardoned record.
So in effect, in Canada, rather then saying "you can't be prosecuted for X offence" it says (in a limited way) you have been guilty of the offence, served your time, are now of good character and now your RECORD for that offence can't be used against you.
Last edited by Dee; 04-05-2010 at 07:06 PM.
Another major junior coach - Jean Begin, app twenty years ago:
The suicide preclude an arrest for similar allegations in a small Quebec community where he had returned to coaching. Also those interested can research David Frost.
The pardon is an administrative rubber stamp. It does not say that the conviction was made in error. Basically it is meant to help integrate the parolee back into society.
People with drug convictions have done their time and returned to contribute to youth organizations but the level of temptation was not the same. The safeguards in place are not sufficient. Anyone volunteering to work with youth organizations undergoes a complete police background check so at this level the the conviction would be flagged.
However jobs on the periphery are not subject to such scrutiny - food service jobs involving community centers, sporting goods, etc.
If, as many believe, pedophiles can't be cured, then the legislation should be changed... although I'm not sure, given the flagging of those convicted of sex crimes, that in reality it will make much practical difference beyond assuaging the anger of those upset at the pardon.
The National Parole Board Responds:
Ex-coach James's pardon explained by parole board
Molester's pardon infuriates 2 former NHL players
Last Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010 | 3:38 PM MT
Amid growing outrage that former hockey coach Graham James was pardoned for molesting two teens, the National Parole Board issued an explanation Monday that it cannot refuse a pardon based on the nature of a crime.
James, now 58, pleaded guilty to sexual assault after Sheldon Kennedy, who went on to play in the NHL, and a second unnamed player came forward with the story of the sexual abuse they suffered when James coached their Western Hockey League teams from 1984 to 1995.
The National Parole Board granted James a pardon in 2007 after he completed a 3˝-year prison sentence. But the news only came to light on Sunday in a report by The Canadian Press after a previously unknown accuser contacted Winnipeg police.
"It was a kind of slap in the face and really a misunderstanding by the powers-that-be [of] the damage that abuse has on someone," Kennedy told CBC News Monday.
The National Parole Board cannot comment on specific cases, but issued a statement explaining the strict criteria for pardons by which its members are bound.
Pardon process treats offences the same
Any criminal, except those who are sentenced to a life or indeterminate sentence, can apply for a pardon after completing their full terms and a waiting period of three or five years. An applicant must demonstrate that he or she has "been of good conduct" and has not been convicted of other offences.
"The Criminal Records Act does not differentiate pardon applicants by the type of offence they have committed, nor does it allow the board to refuse to grant a person a pardon based on the nature of their crime," said the statement by Caroline Douglas, a spokeswoman for the board.
'These things should not just be rubber-stamped.'—Vic Toews, public safety minister
"A pardon is not meant to erase or excuse a criminal act. A pardon means that the record of the conviction is kept separate and apart from other criminal records."
That means the conviction doesn't show up on checks at the Canadian Police Information Centre, a database used by the RCMP and other police.
However, people pardoned for sexual offences are still flagged in the system and should show up in a check if they apply to work in positions of trust with children or other vulnerable people, Douglas said.
Ex-NHL player Sheldon Kennedy said Graham James's pardon was a \Ex-NHL player Sheldon Kennedy said Graham James's pardon was a "slap in the face" to victims. (Andree Lau/CBC)
Kennedy is not convinced by the safeguards: "I know how much of a serial predator [James] is. He can walk into an employment opportunity and he can befriend an employer who has children and next thing you know he is looking after the kids."
James was one of 14,748 Canadians given a pardon in 2006-07, while 103 people were refused, according to government records.
In light of that pardons process, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the federal government will look at giving the National Parole Board more "direction."
"These things should not just be rubber-stamped," Toews said Monday. "There may have to be more consideration by the board given to the particular type of offence, and at the present time the board is not entitled to differentiate between offences."
The government could decide to ban sex criminals from receiving pardons or lengthen the waiting time before applying, Toews suggested.
Victims should be informed
Kennedy said it's important for abuse victims to be notified of developments like the pardon.
"I know that's a huge fear of most people that are going to press charges against their abuser or even are in the healing processes, that this person is going to get them again," he said.
Theoren Fleury, Kennedy's former teammate in junior hockey as well as on the Calgary Flames, filed a formal complaint with police in January after publishing his autobiography that included details of years of alleged abuse by James.
"I feel probably like most of the country, that we're disappointed and that you know, we now I guess are questioning the system and the safety of our children," Fleury said about the pardon.
"The flaw in the system is that we don't really have control as to where we know or how we know or where we know where these guys are at. And that they're able to kind of roam free."
When asked what the move says about victims' rights in Canada, Fleury answered: "That there is none? That something has to change and I hope that it does."
Veteran of Misadventures
Just to contrast the situation in Connecticut, we have in place here an online convicted sex offender registry which is a State website with identifying photos:
In effect you can move to any town in Connecticut and look up the convicted sex offenders who live near you as they are required to register their photo and home address when convicted. I have one living on my street in the town where I live.
Should Show Up
Bolded. The "should show up" basically is inviting failure.
Originally Posted by Dee
Which model offers greater protection to the potential victims - the Canadian model or the Connecticut model as posted by EB?
>>> EDITED BY MOD 11: No need to quote such long post just to bold a few lines. Quoted text shortened since original is only a few posts above. <<<
Last edited by Mod 11; 04-06-2010 at 02:21 PM.
Originally Posted by eastender
It's a tough situation... to be id'ed makes it most difficult for someone trying to get on with his life... but...
It was interesting to hear Sheldon Kennedy (the victim in the James case) talk about the "flagging" this morning on CBC... he echoed your concern... he "works" in the area of sexual abuse now and he wasn't sure about the flagging... I hope I do justice to what he was saying but I think he said a standard criminal check won't show the flag... you have to ask for something more or tick another box or something... it would be nice to have LE clarify this. Nonetheless I think it was a new victim going to the Winnipeg police with a complaint that revealed the pardon.
I've met a lady who works with a volunteer group that assists released sex offenders... a group (sex offenders) almost no one wants anything to do with... I don't have the name for them... but I'm greatly impressed with them... they are not dewy-eyed apologists but they assist these folks, help them find work and accommodation, require accountability and are available to help when they feel tempted... they have at least daily contact with the offenders... it's tough but they render noble service and society is well served by their efforts...
Last edited by Dee; 04-06-2010 at 08:29 PM.