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Stop & Think Logically For Gawd’s Sake: How Does a Pardon Eligibility Restriction Really Help

Now that most have all been whipped into a frenzy; Karla Homolka is going to apply for a pardon and get it….woooooo!!! Yes! Pass that bill now, please, before Homolka can go and…. Well? And well, what? That is the question to be asking if one stops to think for a moment.

Assume Karla Homolka applies for a pardon come July when she is eligible; how will this improve or alter her life? No, really! That she is able to travel? Hello, people! Homolka hasn’t even been living in Canada for quite some time now. She’s lived in the Antilles(paradise for many; enviable for many a law abiding citizen, I’m sure). Why would she even want to come back: assuming she did. It has even been said that she has assumed other citizenship.

Some sources think she’s in Ontario, going studying Law. A scenario that would be highly unlikely: I read somewhere that one of the criteria for law school is that one can’t have a criminal record.

She has even changed her name. The last I checked, she was Karla Teale, Leanne Teale and has also used the name, Bordelais as well as other assumed names the public doesn’t even know about. Although, since the media knows that name, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume she’s changed her name yet again. This, again, without the benefit of a pardon.

Oh, and before everyone’s engines start running in all different directions behaving as though Homolka would get her pardon right there on the spot. It doesn’t quite work that way. And it’s not that easy. In fact, I believe it can take up to three years before a pardon is issued, if granted. There are no guarantees it would even be granted to Homolka or anyone else for that matter, with or without a new bill.

So, brilliant as the Harpercon machine rolls on overtime before Karla can even get her hands on a copy of a pardon application form! Ok, folks, how does that make any sense? Got a news flash: any new bill wouldn’t prevent Homolka from obtaining and filling out the forms.

First, digital finger prints have to be obtained and sent away. Then there are other steps to be followed that take more than a year at the very least before all is complete. Here is a guide in English on how to obtain pardons in Canada. Download the pdf for yourselves just to know not only how long and tedious it can be, but for the costs as well. Does Homolka have the money for this?

Now, back to my original question: even if Homolka were to receive a pardon, what exactly would happen differently than right now? With all the notoriety she has received since the crime, does anyone honestly think a pardon is going to help her through life?

James Morton of Morton’s Musings seems to be of the belief that she probably isn’t even interested in a pardon because it would require her to give specifics like her exact addresses: current and past; same for those aliases. Odds are she is currently using an alias and residing in a place the media hasn’t found yet. Once she applies for that pardon, she must disclose all this information. In fact, the original forms ask for your addresses in the last five years.

Another thing worth  mentioning. As someone who works for social services, dealing with children under 18; a pardon is of no help to potential applicants for employment at our agency who was convicted of any crimes pertaining to the harm of any kind toward children.  It is the same for any place of employment where children or any other vulnerable members of society are involved.

The pardon system seems to work just fine. 96% of 400 000 pardons issued over the past 40 years indicates that the system is far from broken.

NDP MP, Malcolm Allen had come up with what seemed to be a reasonable remedy to the immediate problem of  Homolka’s impending eligibility for a pardon :

New Democrat MP Malcolm Allen has proposed a stop-gap measure to block Homolka’s pardon, but allow the bill to continue to be worked on.

Toews said there are problem’s with Allen’s bill.

Toews, naturally, doesn’t seem to specify what is wrong with it, playing those usual Harpercon games.

Last, but certainly not least,  whatever happened since Steve called Toews last Good Friday demanding a new bill restricting pardon eligibilities for those convicted of violent and/or sex crimes? Why are they all scrambling last minute now? Oh, don’t tell me…them dastardly soft-on-crime Libruls stalled it, right??

As Dan Gardner of the Ottawa Citizen put it last April: Harper sure knows how to play to people’s worst instincts.

Another thing I’ve mentioned before is bringing all this up again in the name of  pretending to have gotten something done before Parliament rises for the summer serves absolutely no one. In fact, the French and the Mahaffey families seeing Homolka’s face plastered all over the media these days has got to be more painful than usual for them. I would think that the last thing they  need is a constant reminder of the face of the she monster who killed their daughters. Further evidence that Steve doesn’t really care about victims. He simply cares about applying that disastrous tough on crime bull shit to replicate the U.S. I mean, how does it really help the Mahaffeys and the French’s whether or not Homolka obtains or doesn’t obtain a pardon. The very fact that Homolka roams loose anywhere in the world has got to be detrimental enough for them.

No bills can correct that horrendous deal the crown made years ago with her.  In an ideal world, she’d still be locked up.  But she only got a 12 year sentence. She served all 12 of those years. She is out now, as the law dictates she should be .  Again, witholding her eligibility for a pardon doesn’t change any of that. It changes very little in the life of the Mahaffeys and French’s, the rest of society and Homolka, herself. We all have to live with that.

If she is to commit another crime of any kind, whether or not she has a pardon isn’t going to deter that from happening.

But the Harpercon PR machine is so damned powerful; before long, like Georgie and Dickie state side, Steve will have Canadians frightened of their own shadows and tell Canadians that only he can keep them safe. That will basically be his next election platform.

5 comments to Stop & Think Logically For Gawd’s Sake: How Does a Pardon Eligibility Restriction Really Help

  • Torontonian

    It’s bring the law & order element back to the fore.
    Because it’s been a largely do-nothing parliament,
    at least one thing that reinforces one of the Tory
    mantras will enhance their perception by Mr and Mrs
    Canadian. At least, the Christian right will be
    greatly chuffed by its passage. Hardly anyone wants
    to hear Charles McVety babble on about “outrage”.

    Ignatieff made a point to mention that this is a last-
    minute thing from them and the House is being stampeded
    into passing at the last minute. The Tory’s want to be
    able to say, “at least we got something through the House”.

    If this were an end of term assessment of a student
    it would be a failure for lack of progress and
    personal development.

    ck Reply:

    I never even thought about the analogy of the student who saves all their homework assignments for the last minute. It’s exactly like that.

    And no doubt, in typical Harpercon fashion, he will pack in a whole bunch of other unrelated goodies that most would go for or at the very least, easily sold to the Timmy Hortons crowd.

  • Torontonian

    Two clarifications, if I may:

    The first sentence should read “It brings the law & order . . .”

    Ignatieff did not use the verb “stampeded”. He did talk about
    last minute business and the verb “stampeded” is mine to
    demonstrate the hurried nature of the last few days of
    the House.

  • RR #666

    Deep sigh.

    I spent over 30 years in the criminal justice system. Early in my career I investigated pardon applications and submitted to the Parole Board.

    If you know how it really works this political posturing is even more disturbing.

  • Ryan

    Ugh. Stephen and Vic. Those two names leave a sour taste in my mouth, as two of the most towheaded, spoiled children around..and the worst part is theyre in two of the most powerful positions in the country. At least the other political party’s refused to give into their political posturing and did not agree to pass the bill in its entirety. Instead the conservatives were forced to….compromise (feels good to type that!) on the bill. Perhaps in the fall when the children go back to parliament they can hold a proper debate and discussion about this bill for a change.