Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews unveiled sweeping changes to the federal pardon system Tuesday that he said are meant to tighten up the process.
For those of who do not pay attention to such matters the CBC has a good story with comments on this issue. The following is taken from the story to read the entire story go here
What's a pardon?
A pardon can be granted to those who have been convicted of a crime, have completed their sentence and have demonstrated that they are now a law-abiding citizen. A kind of "second chance," a pardon can help some to shed the stigma of their past actions, allowing them to move forward and to build a new, productive, life. Pardons do not erase the past, however.
"A pardon is not meant to erase or excuse a criminal act," said Caroline Douglas, a National Parole Board spokesperson. "A pardon means that the record of the conviction is kept separate and apart from other criminal records."
Toews said the proposed changes would eliminate pardons and replace them with more narrowly defined criminal record suspensions.
I thought that the following post by Jonuss's speaks to this issue in a way that I understand.
Earning, and I mean earning a Pardon is a long process. A process that forces the individual who is applying for a Pardon to take a hard look at their lives and come to terms with what they have done. I know this because I have a Pardon
When I herd the Member of Parliament Vic Toews address the press regarding BILL C-23 which effects changes to the Criminal Records Act and Pardons in Canada I became very very concerned. When he made that statement that "No Longer will the Government put Criminals before victims" That "victims will be put first" I came to the realization that The Honorable Vic Toews has no idea what he is talking about.
The reason I know this is because before I ever became a criminal I was a victim. I was sexually molested at the age of 10 years old. On top of that I was raped at the age of 18. Oh yes I was a victim all right! I was a kid living on the streets of Toronto, no education and no hope. I became a thief to survive. Because of that I lost my 20's going in and out of prison I had no way out.
Finally when I came to my senses and made the choice that if I didn't do something about my life I was going to spend it in prison. It was then and only then did things change. I got a job, went back to school and did what I had to do to keep myself out of jail. When the mandatory time passed and I could apply for a Pardon I did so. I had to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had made the changes necessary to be granted a Pardon.
I now have a career and a home and a family that loves me. I can tell you this. If these changes to the Criminal Records Act go through, I would have never have been able to even qualify to apply for a Pardon! I can tell you this as well. I would have ended up doing very serious time in prison and my crimes would have become violent!
Is that what you want Honorable member of Parliament Vic Toews! I can tell you that as a tax paying citizen I refuse to pay for your games! The prisons will fill up and more and more tax dollars will have to be collected!
This is a very sad time in Canadian politics...