Notorious child killer Paul Bernardo transferred to Quebec institution

IdRatherBeSkiing

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May 28, 2007
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I'm totally good with it, if you can't hang him. But that's not what you proposed, was it?
I am proposing locking him up the rest of his life. Most of the 'freedoms' in prison are a part of that #4 clause. Without the #4, there is no need to provide him gym time, or yard time. Just necessities of life like food or medical care as required. Perhaps you took my suggestion of throwing food at him literally?
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Satelitte Radio Addict
May 28, 2007
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No exercise or sunshine is cruelty.

May as well just induce a coma and wait for death.
To be honest, that approach works as well.

But as long as they languish away without chance of parole, it won't bother me if they get an hour or 2 in the yard, But if they don't, I won't be leading the protest brigade to 'correct the injustice' either.
 

petros

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Nov 21, 2008
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To be honest, that approach works as well.

But as long as they languish away without chance of parole, it won't bother me if they get an hour or 2 in the yard, But if they don't, I won't be leading the protest brigade to 'correct the injustice' either.
I hear ya. If it were my choice he'd be put to work for 8hrs a day with earning going to a victim fund.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Mar 18, 2013
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I am proposing locking him up the rest of his life. Most of the 'freedoms' in prison are a part of that #4 clause. Without the #4, there is no need to provide him gym time, or yard time. Just necessities of life like food or medical care as required. Perhaps you took my suggestion of throwing food at him literally?
You are proposing, and I quote. . .

But that life should be in a cell with some basic food thrown at you 2-3 times a day. Nothing else.
I don't know what "nothing" means to you, but to me it means nothing. No books. No videos. No deck of cards No company. No human contact at all. No sensory input beyond staring at a bare concrete wall.

That's torture. By comparison, hanging is kindness.
 

Ron in Regina

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Apr 9, 2008
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harrylee

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Mar 22, 2019
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You are proposing, and I quote. . .


I don't know what "nothing" means to you, but to me it means nothing. No books. No videos. No deck of cards No company. No human contact at all. No sensory input beyond staring at a bare concrete wall.

That's torture. By comparison, hanging is kindness.
So give the piece of shit a rope.
 
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spaminator

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How Paul Bernardo’s prison transfer renewed an old legal debate over just two words
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Stephanie Taylor
Published Jul 25, 2023 • 4 minute read
The federal Conservatives say Canadians angry over Bernardo's move to a medium-security prison have a Liberal government law to blame.
The federal Conservatives say Canadians angry over Bernardo's move to a medium-security prison have a Liberal government law to blame.
OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives say Canadians angry over Paul Bernardo’s move to a medium-security prison have a Liberal government law to blame.


Leader Pierre Poilievre points to a bill passed in 2019 that sought to end solitary confinement, which also amended the law governing Canada’s prisons to stipulate inmates should be held in the “least restrictive environment.”


The Liberal legislation reversed a change Conservatives had made seven years earlier, restoring language that had been there from the beginning.

The debate over that phrasing was not new then, either.

Just ask Mary Campbell, one of the minds behind the law that governs Canada’s prison system. Over her almost 30-year career, Campbell said she recalled once being asked by a former federal government about whether there was a way to adjust the language.

“I was tasked with finding some words other than ‘least restrictive,”‘ said Campbell, a lawyer who retired from her role as director-general of the corrections and criminal justice directorate in the Public Safety Department in 2013.


“And I actually spent a lot of time perusing dictionaries.”

Campbell said regardless of the wording that is used, the language speaks to a fundamental and constitutionally protected principle of the justice system that governments cannot escape.

“It’s on the same level as innocent until proven guilty.”

Anne Kelly, the commissioner of the federal correctional service, repeatedly referred to the “least restrictive” principle in the review she released into its decision to transfer Bernardo from a maximum-security penitentiary in Ontario to a medium-security prison in Quebec.

Bernardo is serving an indeterminate life sentence for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murders of teenagers Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy in the early 1990s and has been designated a dangerous offender.


When the Liberal government amended the Correctional and Conditional Release Act in 2019 — a law created by Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives — their addition of the term “least restrictive” was a reversal of a change made by the Conservative government of former prime minister Stephen Harper.



Back in 2012, Harper’s majority government fulfilled an election promise by passing a crime bill that ushered in a slew of tough-on-crime measures, including mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offences, violent crimes and crimes committed against children.

Critics of the omnibus bill panned it because they said it was likely to lead to an increase of the prison population and risked filling cells with more Indigenous people and other marginalized Canadians while failing to deliver on a promise to improve public safety — all at a higher cost to taxpayers.


One of the changes Harper’s bill made was to adjust the phrasing of corrections law away from saying officials should use “the least restrictive measures consistent with the protection of the public, staff members and offenders.”

Conservatives instead brought in language that said offenders should be kept in prisons with the “necessary restrictions,” and federal corrections should use measures “limited to only what is necessary and proportionate.”

The change followed a review ordered up by the government that concluded prison staff leaned too heavily on the “least restrictive” principle, and argued that inmates should instead be made to justify why they should gain privileges.

“The wording has been changed slightly over the years,” Campbell said.


“But the wording has never deviated from the fundamental.”

Still, groups like the Canadian Bar Association warned a parliamentary committee at the time that the new phrasing brought in by Harper’s government was “not good enough as a constitutional standard.”

Howard Sapers, the then-federal watchdog for corrections, told MPs that the change was concerning, given it was “one of the golden rules of corrections.”

He said his office relied on the principle to investigate “some of the most invasive practices in corrections,” from prisoners being physically restrained and segregated to their security classifications.

When the Liberals revisited the law in 2019 to address the issue of solitary confinement, it restored the original wording, which the bar association welcomed.


The lawyers’ group said in a brief that some had noticed the shift toward greater prisoner accountability meant in some cases “requiring that prisoners earn even basic rights and privileges.”

The British Columbia-based Prisoners’ Legal Services also applauded the move, saying prisoners were being unnecessarily kept in their cells for up to 23 hours a day.

Since winning leadership of the Conservative party last fall, Poilievre has ratcheted up its focus on crime, pointing his finger at the Liberals for being too lenient with offenders at a time when Canadians are anxious about crime.

He has seized upon the Bernardo transfer as an example of that.

Campbell said although the law’s wording has changed over time, the principle at the heart of it has not — and it did play a role in Bernardo’s transfer.


“The Conservatives are absolutely right. Of course it contributed to Mr. Bernardo’s transfer, because it is a principle that underlies all decisions. Not the only principle, but a fundamental one,” she said.

“That people are not to be subjected to custodial or punitive or controlling measures beyond what is necessary for public safety.”

The review of Bernardo’s transfer decision said that in recent years, more than a dozen reviews stated his behaviour would qualify him for a lesser security classification.

But it said the main reason his requests to be moved into a medium-security prison were repeatedly denied was that he had not fully integrated with other inmates at his maximum-security institution. Once that issue was addressed, the transfer went through.

Tim Danson, the lawyer representing the Mahaffy and French families, said the “least restrictive” principle is designed to be broadly applied.

He argued that “legislative refinement” is warranted when it comes to the most dangerous offenders, like Bernardo.
 

petros

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The change followed a review ordered up by the government that concluded prison staff leaned too heavily on the “least restrictive” principle, and argued that inmates should instead be made to justify why they should gain privileges.
Yup. Privilege is earned.
 

spaminator

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Canadians recount horror of Paul Bernardo case following transfer
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Stephanie Taylor
Published Aug 27, 2023 • 4 minute read

OTTAWA — The haunting effect of Paul Bernardo’s crimes lingered for Canadians nearly 30 years later, detailed in the hundreds of messages that poured into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office after the serial killer was transferred to a medium-security prison.


“I have a personal friend who was on that jury and she remains traumatized nearly 30 years later,” one person wrote in correspondence obtained by The Canadian Press through a freedom-of-information request.


“She tells me that several of the jury members meet regularly for psychological support even to this day.”

Bernardo was transferred in late May from the Millhaven Institution, a maximum-security penitentiary in southern Ontario, to La Macaza Institution, a medium-security prison about 190 kilometres northwest of Montreal that offers treatment for sex offenders. News of the move led to a swift and emotional backlash from Canadians.

Critics including Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre urged people to implore Trudeau and then-public safety minister Marco Mendicino to reverse the decision — something the government said it could not do because the Correctional Service of Canada is an independent agency.


The outrage nevertheless prompted the head of the prison system to strike a review to see whether its decision was sound. The results of that probe were publicized last month, saying that the decision was correct and noting that the families of murder victims Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy could have been better notified.

Bernardo is serving an indeterminate life sentence for kidnapping, torturing and killing the girls, then 15 and 14 years old, near St. Catharines, Ont., in the mid-1990s. He has been declared a dangerous offender.

Canadians contacting Trudeau’s office recounted memories of the case, when Bernardo became known as the “Schoolgirl Killer.”

“My children were going to school in the Niagara region during the time of killings and all of us will never forget the fear, sadness and disgust,” one message read.


Another said she was the same age as Bernardo’s victims at the time: “I remember the fear my friends and I felt for the victims and for ourselves.”

Bernardo was also convicted of manslaughter in the December 1990 death of 15-year-old Tammy Homolka, the younger sister of his then-wife, Karla Homolka.

Karla Homolka pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was released in 2005 after completing a 12-year sentence for her role in the crimes against French and Mahaffy.

One person who said they were a friend of Mahaffy’s wrote to Trudeau to say. “I remember the morning she went missing.”

“We were all frantically trying to find her … me and my three closest friends from that summer all suffered for years.”

Their name has been redacted, as are the names of anyone else who wrote to the government about the transfer.


Many messages show how vividly Canadians, particularly those from southern Ontario, remember violent details of the case and Bernardo’s 1995 trial, which remains one of the highest-profile to ever unfold in the country.

“His violent acts were so invasive that they changed our outlook on personal security.”

“My children, who are more than a decade younger than Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, grew up with the knowledge of who those two young girls were as an important caution … and the importance of being careful when doing the most ordinary of things like walking home from school,” another message read.

Bernardo ultimately admitted to sexually assaulting 14 other women, crimes which at the times were attributed to the “Scarborough Rapist.”


“As a teenager I lived in Scarborough,” one email said. “I remember taking the bus home from high school and being afraid that the Scarborough Rapist may be on my bus.”

Another said that, “As a rape survivor, I feel it is an absolute disgrace that Paul Bernardo was transferred to a medium-security prison.”

The correctional service has said that Bernardo is not a risk to the public in his medium-security lodgings. The review into his move revealed he was transferred after years of meeting the criteria to be reassigned as a medium-security prisoner. He had demonstrated he could integrate with other offenders, following a prison sentence mostly spent in solitary.

Of the roughly 247 messages that were sent to Trudeau’s office and to other cabinet ministers in early June, all but two were critical of Bernardo’s transfer.


Those messages came from Canadian Prison Law Association and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, which expressed concern that the federal Conservatives’ opposition to Bernardo’s transfer “encourages Canadians to call for emotional and punitive responses to crime and incarnation.”

Some people voiced support for Poilievre and his demand that the government step in and enact legislative changes so that killers like Bernardo be forced to serve out their entire sentences in maximum security.

“Next election, regardless of how much the opposition leader may turn my stomach, this latest Liberal gaff was the limit.”