Your Ward News editor gets maximum in jail for hate promotion

Your Ward News editor gets maximum in jail for hate promotion
Canadian Press
August 23, 2019
August 23, 2019 9:37 AM EDT
The editor of a hate-filled Toronto-based publication has been jailed for one year. James Sears, left, and LeRoy St. Germaine leave court after being found guilty of promoting hate in Toronto on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. St. Germaine, the publisher of the news letter will be sentenced next week.Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS
The editor of a Toronto-based publication was handed the maximum one-year jail sentence on Thursday for promoting hatred against women and Jews.
In sentencing James Sears, Ontario court Judge Richard Blouin said he would have handed down a much stiffer sentence had the law allowed.
“It is impossible, in my view, to conclude that Mr. Sears … should receive a sentence of any less than 18 months in jail,” Blouin said.
“Mr. Sears … promoted hate to a vast audience in an era where online exposure to this material inexorably leads to extremism and the potential of mass casualties.”
The sentencing of the editor of Your Ward News, who had sought to reopen his trial, came after Blouin rejected Sears’ arguments that his lawyer had thrown the case.
Sears, 55, who had gone into the courtroom expressing confidence that the case would be again put over, looked stunned at the sudden turn of events and quietly shook his head.
“Don’t worry honey,” he told his wife, who was carrying a child, as officers handcuffed him and led him from the courtroom.
“That’s not right,” one supporter said from the back of the courtroom before leaving in tears.
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Blouin had found Sears and Your Ward News publisher LeRoy St. Germaine, 77, guilty in January of two hate counts each.
Evidence was that the free publication was distributed over three years to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the Toronto area as well as online.
It consistently portrayed women as inferior and as inviting rape.
It also promoted tropes of Jews drinking the blood of Christian children and denied the Holocaust occurred. Those themes continued even after the trial started, Blouin noted.
The Crown had called for the maximum six months on each count for a total one year for Sears.
The judge did deny a prosecution probation request to bar Sears from publishing Your Ward News.
Such a ban would violate the constitutional right to free expression, Blouin said.
“Mr. Sears should be free to publish whatever he wishes, even if unpopular and objectionable, as long as his words do not offend the Criminal Code,” Blouin said.
After sentencing submissions in April, Sears fired his lawyer, Dean Embry, and attempted to have Blouin reopen the trial so he could call expert witnesses in his defence.
Sentencing had been repeatedly delayed as Sears sought to convince Blouin.
In an affidavit submitted to the court, Embry strenuously denied any suggestion he deliberately botched the case, saying he had defended his client to the best of his ability and that his client had accepted his judgments.
“I am proud of the work I did for him,” Embry said.
At the outset of Thursday’s hearing, Sears tried to press his point that Embry had provided ineffective assistance by refusing to call any defence witnesses. Sears said he had gone along with Embry despite his increasing misgivings about the lawyer’s strategy.
“My position is that he’s a lawyer. At the time, I didn’t have the knowledge. I don’t have a God complex,” said Sears, who has repeatedly compared himself to Jesus Christ.
“Is this really just a revisiting of the case?” Blouin asked, saying anyone who loses can blame the lawyer’s tactics.
For its part, the Crown argued in its written submissions that Embry had made a tactical decision that was not now open to the court — or to Sears — to second guess.
Ultimately, Blouin had enough. Sears, he said, had endorsed Embry’s calls.
“Mr. Embry approached the case tactically and professionally,” Blouin said. “This was not incompetence or worse. This was a lawyer doing his job. It just didn’t work.”
Blouin also said he would sentence St. Germaine on Aug. 29. The judge said he had only found out on Wednesday that the publisher was not amenable to a restorative sentencing circle that would have seen him face representatives of his victims.
The Crown wants St. Germaine jailed for a total of six months.
Noah Shack, with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, called Sears’ sentence a moment of justice.
“Those who promote hatred must be held accountable,” Shack said.
“What starts with words can often lead to violence.”
Two tiered justice system. A non-muslim gets sentenced for anti-Jewish propaganda. The owner of a muslim publication merely has his Liberal party advertising dollars taken from him for committing the same offence.
TORONTO — A convicted hatemonger who maintains his defence lawyer deliberately threw his case will get a rare chance to show why his trial should be reopened, a judge ruled on Monday.
Instead of sentencing James Sears for promoting hatred against women and Jews, Ontario court Judge Richard Blouin said he would allow the editor of Your Ward News to show he didn’t get the opportunity to defend himself properly.
“My overarching obligation is to ensure a fair trial,” Blouin told court. “I’m allowing Mr. Sears an opportunity to satisfy me that this is a exceptional case.”
Sears, who was convicted in January and made sentencing submissions in April, put forward several arguments for either reopening his trial or declaring a mistrial. Blouin, however, focused on his argument that Sears’ lawyer, Dean Embry, provided ineffective counsel.
Among other things, Sears, 55, maintained Embry refused to call any defence witnesses. He fired Embry, who denies any wrongdoing, in May.
While the Crown argued Sears’ new arguments were without merit, Blouin said he felt he had no choice even though tactical decisions the defence makes at trial cannot be second-guessed.
“You’ve made the argument that Mr. Embry basically threw the case,” Blouin said to Sears. ”That’s an issue I’m going to have to decide.”
The judge gave Sears two weeks to provide a list of proposed witnesses, their credentials, and what they would testify to. He said he would then decide whether to proceed with sentencing, reopen the trial to hear those witnesses, or declare a mistrial.
Sears waived solicitor-client privilege to allow Embry to discuss the case.
Sears and co-accused LeRoy St. Germaine, 77, were convicted of promoting hatred against women and Jews for content in Your Ward News. The free Toronto-based publication was distributed to more than 300,000 homes and businesses as well as having an online presence. The publication consistently portrayed women and Jews in beyond ugly terms.
The Crown had called for a total one-year jail term for Sears, who now returns to court on Aug. 1. The defence argued for a four-month conditional sentence.
Separately Monday, the prosecution urged Blouin, who is retiring from full-time work at the end of August, to jail St. Germaine for three months on each of the two counts for which he was convicted — to run consecutively.
“A custodial sentence is warranted in this case,” Crown lawyer Erica Whitford said. “He has admitted he does have final say over the contents of the publication.”
Whitford also urged two years probation, barring St. Germaine from publishing Your Ward News or any other material that disparages Jews or women. She also wanted him barred from contact with Sears.
The publication which became more vile over its three years, Whitford said, had a profound impact on recipients, robbing many of a sense of safety.
St. Germaine, who identifies as Metis, has a criminal record, including for break and enter, court heard.
Although he has expressed some regret for his role, Whitford said he did appear to have been less culpable than Sears, author of most of the Your Ward News content.
“He seems to have been led by Mr. Sears,” Whitford said.
St. Germaine’s defence lawyer, Ian McCuaig, called for a conditional sentence. He cited his client’s unstable family background for turning him into an angry man.
“It’s lashing out,” McCuaig told the court.
St. Germaine, who is single and has a Grade 8 education, deserves a break because of his background, McCuaig argued.
Meanwhile, Sears, a married father who was found guilty of sexual assault in the 1990s and lost his medical licence over sexual impropriety with female patients, said he saw no need to hire a new lawyer.
Quote: Originally Posted by Jinentonix View Post

Two tiered justice system. A non-muslim gets sentenced for anti-Jewish propaganda. The owner of a muslim publication merely has his Liberal party advertising dollars taken from him for committing the same offence.

You sound more than a little racist. Charlie-Hebo gets praises for it's anti-Muslim hate speeches, so does the loco collective on this site.
Do you have some other point to make?
You just have to look at the Faith Goldie situation to know how screwed the justice system in this country is and who owns it. That is if you missed the drama in the PM's office the last few months.