Pubdate: Wed, 13 Feb 2008
Source: Asian Pacific Post, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Asian Pacific Post
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Van Dung Cao was judiciously tending to his pot plants  at his home on
A Street, Surrey when police came  knocking.

But they apparently did not wait long enough for the  pot grower to
open the front door before they busted  into the house.

The cops, armed with a search warrant, found four rooms  in the
unfinished basement being used as a marijuana  nursery.

The grow-op basement had 704 plants.

But never mind that, said British Columbia Supreme  Court Justice
Catherine Bruce.

"The actions of the police created a real risk of harm  to an occupant
by accidental shooting and to the police  in terms of an aggressive
response to the violent  entry," she said, before dismissing the
marijuana as  evidence and letting the pot grower go free.

Welcome to our court system, where the rights of  criminals get better
protection than the safety of  cops.

A court system which says it guards the administration  of justice,
but in fact is doing the opposite with its  absurd decisions.

Justice Catherine Bruce is not the first to beg the  question " what
are our judges smoking?

In northern B.C., a major international drug  investigation went bust
after a court allowed three  suspected traffickers to go free
following a massive  police operation.

The judge said RCMP investigators spied on the crime  syndicate
illegally and the surveillance tapes, if  allowed in court, would
taint the justice system.

Six months before that case, another multi-million  dollar
investigation into an Asian drug cartel " so  powerful that police
said it could stockpile heroin and  dictate the street price of the
drug in North America  " collapsed in Victoria.

Its members, who had connections to underground banks  in Hong Kong
and the poppy fields of Burma, included  some of Asia's most wanted.
One of them, a loan shark  banned from B.C. casinos, was even brazen
enough to  have his picture taken with the former premier, Glen
Clark, while seeking to open a casino.

Not long after that case against him collapsed, the  loan shark and
his family were busted yet again for  running another drug operation
in Richmond.

They were contract killers, counterfeiters and heroin  importers
working in an organization whose tentacles  reached around the world.

In Edmonton, two massive court cases stemming from a  massive drug
sweep linked to the Trang syndicate,  crumbled because the judge said
police took too long to  provide copies of evidence.

Costs to police, lawyers, and Alberta Justice in that  file alone was
some $36 million.

Similarly, a mega-trial in Winnipeg involving 35  alleged members of
the Manitoba Warriors street gang  also collapsed. This was a test
case involving Canada's  anti-gang legislation.

The annals of organized crime in Canada are littered  with these
decisions where our judges, who in their  unabashed desire to maintain
so-called judicial  integrity, have lost their reality checks.

If the reaction to Justice Bruce's decision is any  yardstick, the
public is of the opinion that our judges  are unable to strike a
proper balance between fighting  crime and protecting the rights of
the individual.

Maybe the time has come to look at electing our judges  to inject the
justice system with a sense of realism  and accountability.

You will be surprised at how many Canadians think that  time has

A poll by Strategic Counsel last year 63 per cent  support the idea of
voters choosing judges "  including 24 per cent who "strongly"
endorsed it. That  compares to 30 per cent who oppose it and just 11
per  cent who strongly oppose it.

Our sitting judges of course think it's a horrific idea  open to abuse
which will lead to campaign finances  dictating rulings.

But this could be checked with a level of federal and  appellate
judges being appointed by the government.

None of our federal parties currently support a shift  to elected

You could start that ball rolling with a call to your  MP.
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